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Plum, Cardamom, and Cornmeal Muffins

Lidey Heuck

Muffins are an easy homemade treat, and they have the added benefit of making your entire house smell like a bakery. (An especially impressive move to pull when you have houseguests for the weekend.)

These simple plum and cornmeal muffins are for my friend Lulu. We’ve shared many baked goods over the years, and now that we live across the country from each other, we have an unofficial tradition of making up for lost time and popping into as many bakeries as possible when we visit each other.

We had a delicious plum and cornmeal cake on my last visit to see Lulu in San Francisco, and I loved the combination of the coarse cornmeal with jammy baked plums. I’ve also added ground cardamom to give these muffins a fragrant aroma and subtle spiced flavor.

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners. (If you’re not using a nonstick pan, spray the exposed metal with cooking spray so the muffin tops come out easily.)

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, melted butter, and eggs. Whisk vigorously for about 15 seconds, until the yolks are pale and the mixture is smooth and glossy. Add the sour cream, vanilla, and orange zest and whisk just until smooth.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined.

5. Cut the plums into ¼-inch dice. Measure out ⅓ cup and set aside, then fold the remainder into the batter. Using an ice cream scoop or a large spoon, divide the batter among the 12 muffin cups. The cups will be very full. Spoon a few of the reserved diced plums onto each muffin and sprinkle the tops with the demerara sugar, if using. Wipe any excess sugar from the top of the pan.

6. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean and the muffins spring back when lightly pressed, 22 to 24 minutes.

7. Let the muffins cool completely in the pan before removing them. Serve at room temperature. Muffins are best the day they’re made but will keep in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Excerpted from Cooking in Real Life: Delicious & Doable Recipes for Every Day. Copyright © 2024 by Lidey Heuck. Photography copyright © 2024 by Dane Tashima. Reproduced by permission of Simon Element, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. All rights reserved.