Cherry-Almond Muffins, adapted from the Fanny Farmer cookbook
Somehow cherries have become my favorite fruit. Or at least, my favorite spring fruit. My favorite fruit of 2012? No matter. I’ve been obsessed with cherries this spring, buying as many as I could from the farmers’ market and making cherry jam (another round last week; we have just three delicious jars that I am going to hoard for as long as possible), cobbler, cake, and muffins. I first came up with this recipe about four (!) years ago for Father’s Day, and haven’t made them again until now. I tweaked the original recipe and added sliced almonds and whole wheat pastry flour (I’ve been slipping this lovely addition into many of my recent baked goods lately) and dare I say this may be my most favorite version yet? OK, I will. Luscious and unexpected, the cherries explode with a soft pop into nearly every bite and are countered with a nice crunch from the almonds (and a bit of grit from the cornmeal). In a word: perfection.
Cherries are now on the wane at the market but fortunately I pitted a big bunch, threw them in a bag, and stuck it in the freezer so I can make these muffins on a whim whenever I like. Lucky me. Us. Everyone. Whatever.
Makes one dozen muffins.
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (can sub all-purpose here, too)
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 egg, slightly beaten (vegans: leave out the egg)
1/4 cup vegetable oil, or 1/4 cup melted, unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk or soy milk
2 cups cherries, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup slivered almonds
Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease muffin pan.
Mix the flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the egg, milk, and oil or butter, stirring only enough to dampen the flour (batter should not be smooth). Add the chopped cherries and mix lightly. Spoon batter into the muffin pan, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Sprinkle tops with a little coarse sugar if you like.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.