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Anne of Avonlea

Marilla Cuthbert’s Plum Puffs

“Well, never mind. This day’s done and there’s a new one coming
tomorrow, with no mistakes in it yet, as you used to say yourself.
Just come downstairs and have your supper. You’ll see if a good
cup of tea and those plum puffs I made today won’t hearten you up.”

“Plum puffs won’t minister to a mind diseased,” said Anne disconsolately. —Anne of Avonlea ch.xii

1987 Anne The Sequel“Plum puffs won’t minister to a mind diseased” is one of the classic quotes from Anne of Avonlea. Any imaginary Anne tea-party is sure to include a platter of plum puffs and a bottle of rasberry cordial. (In fact, “plum puffs” have become a byword among Anne fans, and for a while many Anne fan sites sported a snazzy graphic that read “Powered by Plum Puffs.”)

I imagine Marilla’s plum puffs to be a puff pastry filled with her famous plum jam. There is a recipe for plum puffs from the Anne of Green Gables Cookbook, however, several fans, including myself, have tried out this recipe and the verdict is it’s “not very puffy.”

Anne of Green Gables Cookbook: Marilla’s Plum PuffsIngredients 1/2 cup water 3 tbsp. butter 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1 tsp. granulated sugar 2 Eggs 1/2 cup plum jam (or any other fruit jam) 1/2 cup cream cheese OR whipped cream Sifted Icing Sugar Directions 1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Faranheit (220 C) Grease a baking sheet lightly. 2. In a large saucepan, heat the water and butter until boiling. When the butter has melted, turn the heat to low, add the flour and sugar all at once and mix them in thoroughly (a wooden spoon seems to work best for this). Continue to beat the mixture over low heat until it leaves the sides of the pan, about 1 minute. 3. Remove the pan from the heat. Add one egg and beat the mixture until it is smooth. Add the second egg and beat again until smooth. 4. Drop the dough by teaspoonfuls onto the baking sheet, about 2 inches apart; they should be about 1 inch around. (The puffs will double in size as they bake.) Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown. 5. Take the puffs out of the oven and turn the heat off. Close the oven door. With a toothpick or thin skewer, poke a tiny hole or two in each puff to let the steam out. Return the puffs to the turned-off but warm oven for about 5 more minutes to ensure that the insides are done. Remove the puffs from the oven and cool them on a rack. 6. When cool, gently split the puffs in half and fill each one with a spoonful of jam and a dab of cream cheese or whipped cream. When all the puffs are filled, arrange them on a platter and sift icing sugar over the top. Makes 2-3 dozen.

Later on in the Anne series, Susan Baker teaches Rilla to make cream puffs. I experimented with making puff pastry using cream puff recipes. I have no way of knowing how much I might have deviated from the Victorian recipes of Marilla’s day, but the results were beautiful!

Preheat oven to 420 F.

Marilla Cuthbert's Plum Puffs
Melt butter in water over high heat. Bring to a rolling boil. Add flour quickly and stir vigorously until there are no lumps. The water will absorb the flour really quickly, and the batter will have a spongy, boiled texture. Lower to medium heat and stir until flour forms a ball.

Marilla Cuthbert's Plum Puffs
Remove from heat and empty flour ball into a stand mixer’s bowl. I simply used a blender. Add eggs one at a time and beat on high speed. This step is essential because it beats air into the dough, which makes the plum puffs puffy. I tried beating by hand once (as Marilla would have done) to no avail: my plum puffs didn’t rise.

Marilla Cuthbert's Plum Puffs
Drop by tablespoonfuls on an ungreased cookie sheet, 3 inches apart. Don’t grease the cookie sheet, greasing the cookie sheet will make the puffs flatten.

Marilla Cuthbert's Plum Puffs
I actually thought that dropping the batter into (lightly greased) mini-muffin tins helped them hold their shape really well. (Marilla pours her batter into muffin tins in the 1987 film.) Bake for 5-10 minutes if your puffs are small (under 1″) or 15-20 minutes if your puffs are large (around 2″). At 1 minute into the baking, lower the heat to 375 F.

The puffs should be golden brown when done. Prick the sides of each puff with a toothpick or skewer, and return to the oven immediately. Turn off oven, leave the door open by a crack (wedge a book into the side of the door) and let the puffs dry out for 15 minutes. Let the puffs cool completely before filling.

Marilla Cuthbert's Plum Puffs
Here are my beautiful, tender, crispy puffs!

Marilla Cuthbert's Plum Puffs
Look at that spongy, flakey texture.

Marilla Cuthbert's Plum Puffs
Sliced open slightly and filled with a dark red plum jam.

Marilla Cuthbert's Plum Puffs
Oozing goodness!

Marilla Cuthbert’s Plum Puffs
adapted from the Anne of Green Gables Cookbook, Betty Crocker, AllRecipes, and whatscookingamerica

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup bread flour (or other high gluten flour)*
4 large eggs

*Flour with more protein and gluten, such as bread flour, gives more structure and helps the puffs rise. All-purpose flour can be used, but the puffs won’t rise as high.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 420 degrees F
  2. Melt butter in water over high heat. Bring to a rolling boil.
  3. Add flour quickly and stir vigorously until there are no lumps.
  4. Lower to medium heat and stir until flour forms a ball.
  5. Remove from heat and empty flour ball into a stand mixer’s bowl. (I used a blender.) Add eggs one at a time and beat on high speed until each egg is blended in.
  6. Drop by tablespoonfuls on an ungreased cookie sheet, 3 inches apart.
  7. At 1 minute into the baking, lower the heat to 375 F. Bake for 5-10 minutes if your puffs are small (under 1″) or 15-20 minutes if your puffs are large (around 2″).
  8. Prick the sides of each puff with a toothpick or skewer, and return to the oven immediately. Turn off oven, leave the door open by a crack (wedge a book into the side of the door) and let the puffs dry out for 15 minutes. Let the puffs cool completely before filling.
  9. Fill with whipped cream or fruit jam of your choice
Last modified: April 5, 2009

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  • Cooking & Recipes: Marilla’s Famous Plum Puffs | Welcome to AnneofGreenGables.com wrote on August 10, 2012

    [...] Credit: LMM-Anne.net About The Author Angela Hydes is a graduate of McGill University. She is passionate about film [...]



  • “Puffs with chocolate pastry / Soesjes met chocola ” Recipe | Campanulla Della Anna wrote on June 7, 2012

    [...] Such as Cream Puffs, Chocolate Puffs, Puffs with puding of Ice cream. You can try this recipe Recipes Marilla Cuthberts ; Plum Puffs  I’ve tried, and success. Good luck [...]



  • Dawn wrote on March 1, 2010

    There is a book that you might want to hunt down! “Aunt Maud’s Recipe Book” (from the kitchen of LM Montgomery) by Elaine Crawford & Kelly Crawford.

    There a various recipes in it that are actually Maud’s and others that are from friends and family. One of them is Plum Puff (though it contains no actual plums, using raisins instead) which the book state is “an offspring of the original Green Gables recipe, having passed through another Island kitchen.

    Basically, there’s a thick, soft-ish dough (sugar, shortening, egg, flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla and milk) that you divide in half, pressing half into the pan. You make a filling with the raisins (and boiling water, sugar, corn starch, butter and vanilla) and spread it over the bottom ‘crust’. Then you knead and roll out the remaining dough, topping the filling with it. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and bake.

    The recipe itself, of course, gives amounts and all the rest; I just didn’t want to intrude on copyrights. ;) Plus the book is a gem! It has quotes and stories giving some cultural background, plus photos of Maud and friends and family. It’s really a fun little book.



  • Linda wrote on February 12, 2010

    can you double the recipe? Can they be made a day ahead and still have the appearance and taste?



  • Savvy Housekeeping » Plum Puffs wrote on September 3, 2009

    [...] there is this recipe, which is a cream puff type thing with raspberry jam in the [...]



  • Libby wrote on August 9, 2009

    Yum!



  • admin wrote on March 26, 2009

    Hi Nancy,

    Where can I find the recipe from “Bluebirds Farm”? I would love to see it.

    I actually did try to make my plum puffs (using the puff batter from this recipe) in a mini-muffin tin, which makes them easier to shape. I’ll put up pictures soon.



  • Nancy wrote on February 25, 2009

    This does not seem like the recipe Marilla uses in the movie. She is spooning the batter into a muffin tin. It looks like a muffin mixture in the movie.
    I found a recipe for plum puffs from “Bluebird Farm’s”. The recipe seems more like the one Marilla was spooning into the muffin tin. See if you agree with me. I would like to hear your comments.
    Blessings to all.



  • Jennifer wrote on January 23, 2009

    I was watching Anne of Avonlea and when Marilla made the her Plum Puffs I decided I just had to find a recipe for them. I am so glad I stumbled upon your site, I can’t wait to use the recipe. I ordered Plum Jam from Canada so they are going to be as authentic as I could possibly make them. Thank you