Plum Puffs from “Anne of Green Gables”


Anne of Green Gables, a favourite children’s book for over a century, has been transformed into cartoons, movies, plays, and TV series. A neighbour in London, born in England of Canadian parents, played Anne in the BBC versions from the 1970s. In those days, many British televison series where  stylized, stagey, and black and white. I was pretty disappointed when I saw it. The 1980s Canadian CBC version strikes the right note with excellent, naturalistic acting, beautiful scenery, great costumes, and a real sense of childhood yearning, imagination, and misadventure.

Plum Puffs

They sound delicious, but they also sound as if they should be made with puff pastry. A little too rich for Marilla (Colleen Dewhurst) to whip up in her farm kitchen I would think. And indeed in the televsion version we see her mixing up a batter and pouring it into muffins tins. I found this recipe online and the author agrees that Marilla would be more likely to whip up muffins. Get some plums from your farmers’ market or pluck them off a tree. Any kind except Asian will do. The muffins will be sweet or slightly piquant depending on the ripeness of your fruit.

  • 2 pounds washed plums, made into pulp
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup cream or milk  ( I use cream)
  • 1 egg, slightly eaten
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • Preheat the oven to 375.
  • Grease twelve muffin tins or fill with paper cups

Mix together the dries then add the plum pulp, cream, egg, and butter and blend quickly until mixed. 

  • There will be lumps— don’t worry.
  • Spoon batter into tins at ⅔ full.
  • 20 minutes baking should be enough.
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • Combine the sugar and cinnamon.
  • Place the melted butter on a saucer and the sugar mixture on another saucer.
  • When you can handle the “puffs” dip the tops first in the butter and then in the sugar. 
  • Serve hot spread with butter or room temperature with hot or iced tea.
  • Plum Pulp
  • Add the plums to a big pot with ¼ to½ a cup of water.
  • Heat gently until soft. 

Remove the pits and skins by pressing through a colander, sieve or food mill. Should make about three cups. 

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