Our harvest of cherries that seemed so big has nearly vanished--into our stomachs, which was my intent, of course. I had a few cups left and wanted to bake something with them. After considering different possibilities, I fell back on my tried and true baked item, muffins. I love a good muffin because each person has their own easily handled, portable snack. Plus, they freeze nicely. I have family coming for a visit next week, so a batch of cherry muffins will be very handy. The recipe that I used for these muffins comes from Food & Wine. I have fairly strong opinions on how I like a muffin to taste. That is, I don't like them to be miniature cakes. I grew up eating muffins that had a stronger crumb and this recipe reminds me of those muffins from my childhood. Plus, it doesn't become soggy as the juice from the fruit seeps out during the baking, often a problem when making berry muffins. The outside of the muffin looks quite dark, and I was afraid I baked them too long. But, the picture in the magazine showed the same appearance, and the inside was moist and delicate. The top and sides have a slight crunch that Bob and I enjoyed very much. Try this with any fruit and I think you'll be very happy. We were.
(Adapted from Food & Wine)
MAKES 16-18 MUFFINS ( The recipe says 18--but I ran out of batter after 16)
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• Pinch of salt
• 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
• 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 1/2 cup canola oil
• 3/4 cup whole milk
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 1/2 cups pitted sweet cherries (try to use 2 cherries per muffin)
1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Line 18 muffin cups with paper or foil liners or spray 2 muffin tins with cooking spray.
2. MAKE THE CRUMB TOPPING: In a medium bowl, combine the flour with the brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in the melted butter, then pinch the mixture until it forms pea-size clumps.
3. MAKE THE MUFFINS: In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, eggs and canola oil and beat with a handheld electric mixer at low speed until combined. Beat in the whole milk and vanilla. Add the flour mixture all at once and beat at low speed until the batter is smooth. Stir in the cherries.
4. Spoon the batter into 18 of the cups, filling them about three-quarters full. Sprinkle the crumb topping on top of each one and bake for about 30 minutes or until the muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes before serving.