Darn, I so wish we could grow sweet cherries. Alas – all of our attempts to date have failed, resulting in scraggling, pathetic trees that eventually give up entirely and die.
Fortunately, all of our other fruit trees seem to be pretty happy here, though we’ve not seen any fruit from them yet. That is nothing to fret about though, since they are still not old enough that we would be expecting much out of them. Except staying alive and growing larger that is, which they all seem to be doing.
Fresh, homegrown cherries seem unlikely to be happening around here anytime soon though, but we get by. The stores all have a good supply this time of year, which we think is pretty awesome, since we are kind of freaks about them. Indeed, we come so close to gluttony, that it is nothing for the two of us to polish off an entire pound in a sitting.
Given that, I don’t often bake with cherries. A lot of years I’ve already sworn off turning on the oven by the time they are in good [read: cheap] supply, and it can be difficult to convince myself to stop eating them long enough to make anything of them.
But the cool summer we’ve been having is good for something, so these muffins came to be.
These Fresh Cherry Almond Muffins are sweet and moist, with just a tiny touch of almond extract to bring out the flavor of the fruit. Please trust me and don’t add any more than the 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract in the recipe – a little bit goes a long way, and too much is not tasty at all.
- 1 cup roughly chopped pitted sweet cherries
- 2 & ½ cups all purpose flour
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plain regular yogurt [any fat level will work, though the higher the fat count the richer the muffins will be]
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- raw or sparkling sugar for the tops
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF, and line a 12 spot muffin tin with muffin papers.
- Prepare the cherries first, pitting whole ripe cherries, and cutting them roughly in quarters - set aside.
- In a medium bowl, which together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt - set aside.
- In a larger bowl, whisk together the yogurt, milk, eggs and extracts.
- Add the dry ingredients and fold the two mixtures together. When they are about half combined, add the cherries and continue folding. Don't over-mix; fold just until barely combined.
- Portion the batter evenly in the muffin tin, filling each cup nearly full.
- If desired, sprinkle the tops with raw or sparkling sugar.
- Bake at 425º for 10 minutes, turn pan and lower heat to 350º and bake an additional 10 minutes. A toothpick inserted near the center of a muffin should come out with no more than a few moist crumbs.
- Remove them from the tin and cool muffins on a rack.
- Serve warm with butter and honey or jam. refrigerate leftovers
They are pretty amazing if I say so myself – I use the same technique in these as I did in my Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins, to make sure I got that same high domed effect. The sugar on top gives them a very pleasant crunch, and the cherries are just as good as I had hoped.Enjoy!