So, for the last two weeks we have had a hearty stock of cherries in our fridge. Sour ones to be exact. If I was in a different state (i.e. not pregnant) I would be concocting all sorts of delectable drinks with the little tarts, but that is not the case right now. That being the case, I have replaced the cherry cocktail with a cherry treat.
As I side note, let me just say that I can hardly believe it is cherry season already, but when I showed up to my CSA last week to pick up our fruits and veggies, there they were! Maybe it is me, but I tend to measure the passage of summer in two ways…the landmark dates that make up summer (Last day of School, Independence Day, Birthdays, and Labor Day) and seasonal produce. Before we know it I will be swimming in plums…which is a different series of posts entirely.
With our first batch of cherries, I made a Sour Cherry & Almond Coffee Cake, adapted from Martha Stewart. It was delicious but wasn’t screaming out almond or cherry to me, which was what I really wanted. With our second batch of cherries, I decided to give it another go, making a few more alterations and serving it up muffin style. Jackpot.
The result is exactly what I was going for. A little more cherry, a little more almond flavor, and you have a most perfect treat to go with your morning coffee.
Sour Cherry & Almond Coffee Cake Muffins
adapted from Martha Stewart
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup finely chopped, raw almonds
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick softened butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup buttermilk
3 cups fresh sour cherries, pitted
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a muffin tin with paper cups and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
Make the topping by stirring together the butter, flour, almonds, sugars, salt, and cinnamon with a fork. Set aside.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl using a mixer, cream butter and granulated sugar together until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and almond extract. Working in alternating batches, add flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat until just combined. Using a #20 fisher (3 Tablespoons), scoop batter into muffin cups. Top each cup with 4-5 cherries and sprinkle with the topping.
Bake in preheated oven until topping is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Allow to cool before enjoying.
If you don’t have fresh sour cherries, you could use frozen. Either way, whip up a batch and invite someone over to indulge in coffee and cake with you on the back porch. Ahhhh, summer.