the bear cub, the witch, and her cupboard

My favourite baking arises from figuring out how to make unappealing bits and pieces delicious. Little purple plums are a standby in England and Ireland, but I find them oddly tasteless. Made the mistake of buying them when I first arrived and they had started to get a little wrinkly. The solution?

Sticky Plum Oatmeal Muffins

for the topping:
1-2c. cored and sliced plums  
(can substitute any small fruit, but I  reserve this sort of treatment only the for tart or flavorless ones)
1/3c. brown sugar

Add the juice of half a medium lemon, then mix and let sit for 1 hour. Add 1/8t each nutmeg and cinnamon and 1-2T quick oats. Ginger would also be nice if you prefer. This syrupy mixture will get poured -juices and all- on top of each muffin just before baking.

for the batter:
1 1/2c. flour
1/2t salt
1/8t baking soda
1t baking powder

3/4c. soft butter
3/4c. white sugar
1 egg
1t vanilla
1/2 milk

Mix together dry ingredients first. Then in a separate bowl cream the butter and sugar, beat in the egg and vanilla, and then beat in the milk. The mixture will be lumpy. Add your dry ingredients in one go. Mix well but don’t worry, the batter will still be lumpy.

Fill each muffin paper just under half full, I was able to make 11 muffins. Evenly distribute the plums amongst the muffins. Bake at 350 til brown and the plum skins have darkened.

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