What to eat this month

Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plum, marzipan and cinnamon muffins

The plum muffin below has a celebration look. To turn it into a casual breakfast, skip the compote topping and serve plain (and still delicious). Use dark red, ripe plums for the best visual effect. As for the marzipan, try to avoid the luminous yellow stuff, artificial in substance and flavour. Crazy Jack organic marzipan tastes good and is available from healthfood
shops and some supermarkets.

What you need

Makes 10–12

  • 480g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • a pinch of salt
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 110g unsalted butter, melted
  • 280ml milk
  • grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 120g marzipan
  • icing sugar for dusting
  • Plum compote
  • 700g ripe red plums, stoned and cut into quarters
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Directions

  1. Make the plum compote first. Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas Mark 3. Place the plums in a shallow baking dish, add the sugar and cinnamon stick and mix together. Place in the oven and bake for 10–20 minutes, until the plums are soft and their skin starts to separate from the flesh (the cooking time will vary significantly, depending on the ripeness of the fruit). Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and salt into a bowl. Put the sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl and whisk together. Add the milk and butter (make sure it is not too hot) and whisk to combine.
  3. Grate the marzipan on the coarse side of a grater and add this to the batter, together with the orange zest. Now add 80g of the plum compote (pulp and juices) and stir together. Set the rest of the compote aside for later.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the flour mixture into the wet mix until just combined (there may still be a few lumps and bits of flour; that is what you want).
  5. Line your muffin tins with paper cases and spoon in the mixture, filling them all the way to the top. Bake for 25–30 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean. When cool enough to handle, take the muffins out of the tins and leave on a wire rack until cold.
  6. Just before serving, dust the tops with a little icing sugar and top with the reserved cooked plums.

Taken from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook (Ebury Press £25)