Ahh, stone fruit. Those delicious, juicy, sweet things with a maddeningly short growing season. So many stone fruits to choose from, and so little time to enjoy them. Last year I was all about the peaches, so this year I vowed to be more about plums and nectarines. Maybe next year is apricots? But then what about pluots? It gets complicated….
Next year can be figured out later; today we shall have these tasty muffins with lots and lots of plum chunks. And poppy seeds too, just for good measure.
These muffins are not savory per se, but they are not high on the sweet factor. Over the years it seems that muffins have inched closer and closer to cupcakes, some so much so that the lines of distinction have grown exceedingly blurry, and oftentimes muffins seem like little more than an excuse to eat cake for breakfast.
Not today, my friends. These muffins are taking a stand and declaring themselves to be MUFFINS, and muffins alone. They are emphatically stating that they will not tolerate being confused with their distant look-alike cousins. These are decidedly breakfast food, and they are well aware that we shouldn’t be consuming tons of sugar first thing in the morning.
That said, they are quite delicious, with a soft and impossibly moist texture, studded with ripe plum chunks that pop, and just a hint of sweetness. Enjoy while plums are still in season!
6 tbs unsalted butter
1 large egg
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¾ cup sour cream
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
2 tbs poppy seeds
2 cups pitted and diced plums, from about ¾ lb of whole plums
Preheat your oven to 375 F. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin. Set aside.
First step is to brown the butter. Cut the butter into chunks and add to a stainless steel small pot or skillet. Place over medium heat and let it melt. Once it’s melted completely, the butter will start popping and bubbling and sputtering – this is the water evaporating out. You will see the butter turn a nice brown color and there will be little browned bits hanging out at the bottom of the pan. Once the sputtering and popping has died down to a minimum, shut off the heat. Let it cool slightly.
Add the egg and both sugars to a large mixing bowl and whisk until well combined. Now add the butter, including those browned bits floating around, plus the sour cream. Whisk to combine. If your butter is still very warm, drizzle it in slowly while constantly whisking.
In a separate bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and poppy seeds. Add to the sour cream mixture and whisk until just combined. Do not overmix, and a few lumps are okay. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the plums.
Use an ice cream scoop (helps to grease it lightly first) to evenly distribute the muffin batter into the prepared muffin tin. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the tops are golden and a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Rest the muffins in the pan for about 2 minutes, no more than 5 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and let them cool completely. Store any leftovers in an airtight food storage container.