passover brown butter plum friands - passover week 2021

Welcome to Day 3 of Passover Week 2021. When I spied this Nigel Slater recipe for brown butter and fig friands I noticed it contained no baking powder and such a small quantity of flour, the recipe was ripe for renovation for Passover. Instead of figs I decided to top the friands with some plum slices, as they're still in season here
I didn't have enough hazelnuts for the recipe so I decided to use some almonds and swapped the icing sugar for caster sugar, as it's much easier to source at Passover. Once everything is weighed out and measured, these friands take no time to put together.

If you'd like to make these friands, here's the recipe for you which was adapted from a Nigel Slater recipe. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Passover brown butter plum friands – makes 10 
180g unsalted butter plus extra for greasing  
50g hazelnuts, skinned
50g blanched almonds  
2 ripe plums pitted, halved  
50g Passover baking mix  
Pinch salt
180g caster sugar, reserve 1 tbs 
1 tsp lemon zest 
5 egg whites (150 mls)

Preheat the oven to 200°C, conventional. Lightly butter and flour 10 friand tins then place the tin in the fridge until ready to use. 
Melt the butter in a small pan over a moderate heat. Watch carefully as the butter first froths and then calms down and starts to turn deep gold. Once the butter becomes walnut coloured and smells nutty and toasted, remove immediately from the heat and set aside. You can also brown the butter in the microwave. Place the butter into a microwave safe bowl then cover with a plate or lid. Microwave the butter on high for about 6 minutes or until nut brown in colour. Remove the pan from the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes, to allow the burnt solids to collect at the bottom of the pan. Strain through a fine-mesh (or muslin- lined) sieve, discarding the solids. Allow the browned butter to cool slightly before using. It should still be warm when folding into the mix later: if it is too hot it will start to cook the egg whites; if it is too cool it will be difficult to incorporate into the mix. You should have about 135g of browned butter.

In a shallow pan over a moderate heat, toast the nuts until they are golden. Moving them regularly around the pan will help them brown evenly. Tip them into a food processor and process to fine crumbs. They should be slightly less fine than commercial ground almonds.
Slice each plum half thinly and sprinkle with the reserved 1 tbs caster sugar then set aside. 
Sift the baking mix with the salt into a large mixing basin then stir in the sugar and all but 1 tbs of the ground nuts. Stir in the lemon zest. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they reach a soft, sloppy foam.
Make a deep well in the dry ingredients and then pour in the egg whites, together with the cooled butter. Combine the ingredients lightly but thoroughly and then pour into the friend tins. Place a couple of plum slices on the top of each friend and then scatter the reserved ground nuts over the top.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden brown. The surface should be lightly crunchy. Remove from the oven and leave to settle for 10 minutes before sliding a palette knife around the edge and teasing them out of their tins.

The mixture was quite loose and next time I think I'd use a little less butter and 4 egg whites rather than 5. I normally grease and flour my friand tin but decided not to on this occasion. It took quite a lot of 'teasing' to get the friands out of the tins so I won't be making that mistake again.

Despite all this, the friands were buttery, moist and delicious. I took these into work and no-one realised they were made for Passover, which made them a great success by my yard stick.

See you all again tomorrow for Day 4 of Passover week.

Bye for now,



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