The drainage holes in the wall separating us from our neighbours are home to dozens of sparrows. I've always loved watching them through the kitchen window: building their nests; feeding their babies and protecting them. As young kids, my sister and I once carried a pair of ducks down the alley so they could peck the snails off that wall. Sounds strange but it was fun. My mum once caught my sister eating a snail, shell included, but that's another story. It's here we hang the washing, and when I reached for the line yesterday my mum spotted my shadow looked like a flamenco dancer. Tumbling grapes and branches of plums reach over the wall. We asked our neighbour if he wouldn't mind us picking plums from the branches on our side. We did some pruning. We ended up with two buckets of the most delicious fruit, sweet flesh and sharp skins that make you scrunch your face up.So what do you do with a couple of hundred plums? I've made compote, jam, upside down plum cake, apple and plum crumble, I've even put plums in my rib sauce. Today I made plum crumble muffins with shredded apple. They are so delicious, just out the oven all steamy and light with a spoonful of hot syrupy plums on the top.
Muffins are easy, make a wet mix, make a dry mix, mix but don't over-mix!
200g Self Raising Flour
90g Caster sugar
1 large grated apple
50ml Coconut oil (or sunflower)
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the crumble
50g plain flour
40g brown sugar
A sprinkling more cinnamon
For the plum compote
1 tbsp brown sugar
juice of 2 lemons
Mix the dry ingredients and the wet separately.
Grate the apple and mix in with the wet then mix with the dry gently until just incorporated and spoon into silicone muffin moulds or cases.
Spoon the crumble on top and bake at 180C for 20 mins.
Heat the compote together and simmer until syrupy and spoon over the slightly cooled muffins.
Put the kettle on.