English plums are in season at the moment, with Victoria plums being the best known and, in my view, the sweetest variety. These plum and almond muffins make a tasty after-school treat but are equally good served as individual puddings with warm custard or vanilla cream. They’ll keep well in a tin for up to three days — if they last that long.
Makes 12 muffins
6-8 Victoria plums
225g light Muscovado sugar
4 large free range eggs, lightly beaten
225ml sunflower, vegetable or mild, light olive oil
1 tsp almond extract
240g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
50g flaked almonds
2 tbsp icing sugar mixed with 1 tsp of cinnamon, to dust
Cream or warm custard, to serve
Preheat your oven to 180°C. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with muffin cases.
Halve and stone the plums. Chop into small pieces and put to one side.
Whisk the sugar, eggs, oil and almond extract together well for 3-4 minutes until a pale caramel colour.
Sift in the flour and baking powder and gently fold with a metal spoon until all the flour is incorporated.
Pour or spoon the muffin batter carefully into the cases and gently press a few chopped plum pieces into each one.
Sprinkle a few flaked almonds over each muffin.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the muffins.
Leave to cool. Dust the muffins with the icing sugar and cinnamon mix and serve with the cream or warm custard.