Monday, September 5, 2011

Plum Streusel Muffins

Plums...what's not to like about them?  I, personally, can't think of a single thing to complain about when it comes to plums.  They're a fantastic little fruit.  So many colors and varieties to choose from, the perfect balance between sweet and tart, when they're ripe you get that great dribble down your chin juiciness.  I just love them and this summer I've used them in just about every way I can think of.  I've got a nice spiced plum jam in my fridge right now.  I've eaten them right out of hand standing on the beach watching the surf, my boys, and the seals playing in the water (really how can you get better than that?).  Plum upside down cakes.  Plum galettes.  And this weekend, plum streusel muffins.

I don't know why more people don't make plum muffins.  All I can say is that finding a recipe was really hard.  In the end I decided on working with a peach muffin recipe that looked reliable and adapting it for the flavors of the plums I had.  I think it worked out pretty well, after all I ate two of my giant muffins with a cup of tea steaming hot from the oven and I was a happy girl for the rest of the morning.  Though I have to say I wasn't totally impressed with the streusel topping. Next time I think I might just sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on top and call it good.  Don't let me sway you- make them yourself and you be the judge.

Plum Streusel Muffins
Adapted (very loosely) from a recipe by Emeril Lagasse on the Food Network.

Makes 6 giant muffins or 12 standard muffins

2 cups chopped plums (you want small pieces, almost diced)
3/4 cup sugar, divided
4 tbs butter, room temperature
1 egg
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
zest of 1 orange
For the streusel:
2 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs flour
2 tbs butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a 6 cup large muffin tim or a 12 cup standard muffin tin.

Place the plum pieces in a bowl and sprinkle with a little less than 1/2 cup sugar  Stir and let sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon.  Set aside.  In the bowl of a mixer, place the butter and rest of the sugar.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and beat until combined.  Add half the flour mixture and beat until just combined then add half of the buttermilk.  Mix.  Repeat adding the rest of the flour then the buttermilk.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and mix in the orange zest and the plums with all of the juices from the bowl.  Scoop into the muffin cups.

To make the streusel, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl.  Smoosh them all together with your fingers or a fork until you get a crumbly mixture.  Sprinkle over the tops of the muffins.

Place the muffin tins in the oven and bake.  The large muffins will take from 20 to 22 minutes and the standard muffins will need only 18 to 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven when they are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a  muffin comes out clean.  Let them cool on a baking rack then enjoy.

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