Recipe 3 from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman
Okay, we’re back in business! Happy to be blogging once again. Thanks for your patience loyal readers. I hope this is worth it!
I actually just made these muffins yesterday because even though this recipe was next in the book (back in January), it wasn’t plum season. I figured I would postpone this recipe and come back to it in the summer…well…summer is here. What a coincidence! Small advantages for not having time to blog!
These muffins were pretty easy and delicious. They yield about 12 muffins according to the recipe, but in honor of making things more Weight Watchers friendly, I decided to make mini muffins instead. Using a Tablespoon I was able to make 37 muffins.
1. CHOOSING PLUMS: I would make sure to use plums that are not tart or sour. She says you can use any kind of plum ( I guess I didn’t realize there were other kinds then the reddish ones I see in the store, but there are….even Italian plums! Wanna see some pictures?? Click here) I mistakenly used the first ones I bought at Wal-mart and didn’t really make sure to buy those which were sweeter and riper. How does one do that you ask…well let me tell you. According to the helpful blog entitled “Just Plums” you do not look for plums with your eyes, but with your nose. They indicate that plums that are ripe and un-ripe are the same color. They say that a ripe plum will smell sweet and fruity where an unripened plum is not going to have a smell to it at all. Other sites mention that the plum will have a give to it if you press on it and the opposite is true for an unripened plum. If you have unripened plums that you want to use for this recipe, refer to the post from WikiHow about “How to Ripen a Plum.” I found this very helpful….AFTER doing this recipe. Yes, I’m proving very much to be the novice I claim to be when I do stuff like research the ingredients after I work with them.
2. MINI MUFFINS: Yes, mini muffins are just mini versions of muffins.
It’s not magic at all. However, if you are wanting to watch your waistline or you’re a WW point counter, then mini muffins are the way to go. This recipe went from 5 points a muffin to about 2 points a muffin if you yield 37 muffins when you only use a tablespoon of batter. I highly recommend this as an alternative because as WW people know, 2 point snacks are the best things to have on hand. You can still use the same recipe and enjoy, but in moderation that works for you.
3. MAKING BROWN BUTTER: I love that Deb Perelman simplifies what sounds like a potentially scary process of browning…not burning…butter. In her cookbook she takes you to a dessert recipe to learn how to make the brown butter. Her suggestions are as follows on page 202 of her cookbook:
- Using a pot, heat the pan to medium low heat
- Drop in your butter
- It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden, and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty.
- Stir frequently, scrapping up any bits from the bottom as you do.
- Don’t take your eyes off the pot. You may be impatient for it to start browning, but the period between the time the butter begins to take on color and the point where it burns is often less than a min.
She has a lot of other tips and tricks but I have to leave something for you to read when you buy her cookbook!
REVIEW: I think you’ll love this recipe any time of the year. I love how it’s summer but with the smell of cinnamon and nutmeg I felt transported to fall with one waft of amazing from the oven. I would love to see how these turn out with other kinds of fruit. I happen to find the most sour/tart plums on the earth that were most definitely under ripe…now that I know what to be looking for…ugh. The great thing about this recipe is that the sweetness of the muffin batter helps balance out the sourness of the plums so be encouraged if you too end up making these with a few bad plums. You might actually like the way they turn out! Hope you give these a try this summer. You won’t be disappointed and they are fun change to the muffins we all know and love.
Happy baking, friends!
PLUM POPPY SEED MUFFIN RECIPE
YIELDS 12 MUFFINS (5 WW Points) , 37 MINI MUFFINS ( 2 WW Points)
6 T. unsalted butter, melted and browned and cooled, plus butter for muffins cups
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c packed dark or light brown sugar
1/4 c. sour cream or a rich, full-fat plan yogurt (WW: use light/low fat sour cream to keep muffins low points)
1/2 c. whole-wheat flour
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp table salt
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 T. poppy seeds
2 cups pitted and diced plums from about 3/4 pound of Italian prune plums (though any plum variety will do). (NOTE: If doing mini muffins, consider doing 1 1/2 cups instead).
- Preheat oven to 375
- Butter muffin tins
- Whisk egg and sugars in bowl
- Stir in brown butter than sour cream
- In separate bowl, mix flours, bp, bs, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and poppy seeds
- Stir dry mixture gradually into wet mixture “until it is just combined and still a bit lumpy.”
- Fold in plums
- Divide batter into cups.
- Bake for 10 -12 min (mini muffins) 15-18 (regular size muffins)
- Allow to cool in pan for a few min before removing to cool on rack