Saturday, July 13, 2013

Tea Room Recipe #28 - The Wild Plum Tea Room (Gatlinburg, Tenn.)

A year or so ago, I began searching for tea room cookbooks online in anticipation of this year's special Saturday focus. I was surprised to find a book from The Wild Plum Tea Room listed for more than $100! It was out of print, and I dearly wished I had bought one before they sold out. Then, at Christmas, a friend of mine whose son lives in Gatlinburg visited the tea room and lo and behold, the books were back in print so on a whim she bought me one. She said she hoped I didn't already have the book, and I told her how thrilled I was to receive my copy!

Since the tea room's name mentions the plum, I knew immediately that I wanted to make the Wild Plum Muffin recipe in the book. But you know what? Grocery stores in these parts don't sell plums in January, when I first got a hankering to make them. I ended up talking to a produce manager who very kindly informed me, as if he were talking to a very dim child, that plums are not in season in January. Oh. How 'bout that? So I waited. And when I saw some nice juicy plums the other day, I realized it was time to take another look at the cookbook.

The recipe in the book makes 10 dozen mini-muffins, but I wanted full-size muffins, and not too many, so I halved the recipe. Here's how I made these absolutely divine muffins, moist little treats with a delightfully plummy taste. I must say, they were worth the wait!

Wild Plum Muffins

1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup chopped pecans (the book calls for walnuts, but I had pecans on hand)
1/2 cup drained and pitted plums processed in food processor (3 plums was nearly a perfect amount) PLUS 1-1/2 tablespoons applesauce*
1-1/2 large eggs (good luck with that)
1/2 cup vegetable oil

*Note: The book says you may substitute a small jar of plum baby food for the plum and applesauce mixture.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, sugar, allspice and nuts. Add plums and applesauce (or the substitute), eggs and vegetable oil. Stir just until combined. Prepare a muffin pan with cooking spray and fill tins about 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until tops are firm and edges are just beginning to brown. Yields 1 dozen regular size muffins.


  1. This has certainly been a fun series! I look forward to each cookbook and subsequent recipe with eager anticipation!

  2. Sounds so good! That tea room is close enough for me to plan a visit one of these days, I'm glad to know about it.

  3. What a wonderful recipe this is Angela. Sounds like a darling tea room ! I don't get to travel much but I will try this recipe!

  4. What?!? The original recipe does not call for plums!! It calls for 2 small jars of plum baby food. My Wild Plum Tea Room Recipe book was printed in 1999. However, the question is: Is there plum baby food anymore? I know there are no jars being used for baby food. Do they make plum baby food? My friend, Mary Ann, originally from Newnan, gave me this very same recipe in the 1970's.

  5. OK, I just looked at your recipe and it is cut in half from the original recipe which makes 10 dozen mini muffins, therefore you would use the equivalent of one jar of plum baby food. I have eaten these many, many times over the years at the tea room near Gatlinburg, and have NEVER seen bits of plums in them .

  6. YUM - and awesome of that friend, how truly thoughtful. Aren't people amazing?

    I went to Gatlingbur when I was in the 6th grade. My parents bought some gorgeous mountain property there as a possible build sight for retirement.

    That is the year - my first slow dance with a boy. I can remember it was "The Tennesee Waltz" playing. It was a family barn dance party - my parents were there. Gosh, seems like yesterday.

    My parents ended up buying a beach place in Englewood, Fla. instead, which was super fun for us all to visit every February for years.

    Mom, Dad and that home are all gone now - just have these fabulous memories - and lots of shells Mom collected from "her" beach! ♥

  7. Hi kind of your friend to pick up the book for you and the plum muffins look delicious.

  8. I just love the name of this tea room and looked them up online. They even allow dogs on the porch where food can be served. I must put this place on my bucket list. Thank you.

  9. I have the spiral bound cookbook printed in 1999. I was gifted with the book when some friends visited the tea room. I've made the Wild Plum tea for so many ladies' church events.

  10. Glad your friend found this book for you. The muffins look delicious.

  11. Hello Angela! This recipe sounds so good and so does the tea room. Thanks for sharing, Joanie

  12. What a thoughtful friend to buy the book for you. She knows you well. Plum muffins would indeed be a delight.

  13. I've taken afternoon tea at the Wild Plum Tea Room - wish I'd bought the cookbook. ☺


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