I don’t really like too many things about summer. I am definitely more of an autumn and winter kind of person. I love wearing layers, cooking big, warming meals (and puddings obvs) and drinking red wine in front of the fire. One of the things that I do like about summer is stone fruit!
Our farmers’ markets in Toowoomba have a stall holder from Stanthorpe which is about 90 minutes from us. They have had beautiful stone fruit this year. I mean, sensational. Even though the weather has been very, very dry and so hot for the whole summer, their trees have still managed to produce the best tasting plums, apricots and peaches that I have ever had. I’m sad that the season is wrapping up but it gives me something to look forward to at the end of the year. I always buy lots of fruit at the markets, with the intention of bottling them to bring out in the depths of winter but we just end up eating all the fruit fresh (or in these muffins).
I was given Donna Hay’s Basics to Brilliance cookbook for Christmas and I have been having a lot of fun playing around with different flavour combinations. I’ve tweaked things a little bit as I found the original recipe was a bit dry but that could be me and my oven. I have found that the plum works quite well at cutting through the sweetness of the muffin to balance the flavour very well. I have used peaches as well and they have been delicious.
- 375g self-raising flour
- 190g caster sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 egg
- 180mL vegetable oil
- 200mL milk
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 2 plums, each cut into eight segments
- raw sugar, to sprinkle on top
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced) and prepare a 12 hole muffin tray. This recipe makes approximately 18 each time I make it to it’s up to you whether you do two batches or have two trays.
- Sift together the flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Mix in the sugar.
- In a separate bowl or a jug, whisk together the egg, oil, milk and vanilla bean paste.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined. Spoon into the prepared muffin trays. Fill each hole to about halfway (they will overflow if you put more than that in) and add a plum segment. Push the plum segment in to the batter a little. Sprinkle a little raw sugar over the top of each muffin.
- Pop the tray into the pre-heated oven to bake for 25-30 minutes or until cooked when tested.
- Cool on a wire rack. These muffins keep for 2-3 days. I have had luck freezing them and allowing them to thaw at room temperature but they are best eaten that day. Makes 16.