Quick and Easy

Christmas fruit and spice friands

These fruit and spice friands are a delightful treat for a Christmas Day brunch or breakfast. Topped with juicy fresh cherries and sweet spiced syrup, it's the perfect way to start a festive day.
Christmas fruit and spice friands


Spice syrup


1.Preheat oven to 230°C. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with paper cases.
2.Sift icing sugar, flour and spices into a large bowl. Stir in currants and ground almonds; make a well in the centre. Add egg whites, zest and butter; stir with a metal spoon until combined. Spoon mixture into paper cases.
3.Bake friands for 5 minutes. Reduce oven to 200°C; bake for a further 12 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave friands in the muffin pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
4.Meanwhile, make Spice syrup (see below).
5.Top friands with crème fraîche and cherries; drizzle with syrup.

Spice syrup

6.Split vanilla bean lengthways; scrape out seeds. Place vanilla bean and seeds in a medium saucepan with sugar and mixed spice; stir to combine. Add the water; cook, stirring, over low heat for 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Boil, uncovered, without stirring, for 5 minutes or until syrup thickens slightly. Remove from heat.

• For a gluten-free version, you could use gluten-free plain flour. • You could serve with any summer berry instead of the cherries, if preferred. • Friands can be made up to 2 days ahead; keep them stored in an airtight container at room temperature.


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