Plums. Every summer our small unassuming trees are ladden with plums, We spend our days picking them, eating them, preserving, canning, stewing, baking and poaching. My hands at the end of summer bear tiny cuts from digging out seeds, and are stained with a reddish tinge from the ruby flesh. I make jams, and chutneys, sauces and pies, cakes and preserves. I leave for Viet Nam in a couple of days which means my plums will be left to the birds. This may be my last chance to do some baking for a couple of months so I am holding onto one last tradition before I go.
Perhaps the easiest mini cake recipe in my cookbook but by far one of the tastiest. A friand is a buttery almond cake (similar to a French financier) punctuated with fruit. These are supposed to be made in an oval shaped friand pan but after the chaos of moving all I had to hand was an old muffin pan - it works just as well.
LITTLE PLUM POPPETS
- 150g butter
- 1 2/3 cup almond meal
- 1 2/3 cup pure icing sugar, sifted
- 2 Tbsp heaped plain flour, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 5 egg whites
- 5 plums sliced thinly
- melted butter to grease
1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Place butter in a saucepan over low heat. Cook until melted completely. Remove from heat and set aside.
2.Combine almond meal, icing sugar, flour and baking powder in a bowl. Stir to mix. Beat the egg whites until frothy (but not peaked). Add the egg whites to almond mix and stir gently with a wooden spoon to mix. Add butter and mix well.
3.Grease a friand or muffin tin with melted butter. Spoon two tablespoons of mixture into each cup and sprinkle with plum slices.
4.Bake in preheated oven for approximately 15 to 20 minutes until cooked, risen, golden and still moist in the centre.
5.Dust with icing sugar to serve.