Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tart and Tasty Breakfast Treat

So...I have lots of tart cherries left from my picking excursion this weekend.  Don't worry...I'm gonna make a pie, but that still leaves us with plenty.  I spent more than an hour yesterday pitting several pounds of cherries.

Since we killed the scones I made for our cherry jam so quickly, I decided to make another cherry breakfast treat.  My fallback plan for breakfast is always muffins.  I found a very easy recipe from a Michigan bakery that I modified for my purposes.  And, if I may say...they are delicious.

Tart Cherry Muffins
Makes 16 muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 Tbsp cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup oil
1 1/4 cup milk
1 1/3 cup cherries, stemmed, pitted, and chopped

Crumb Topping:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line muffin tins with paper cups.

I mixed dry ingredients together first.

Then, I added the wet ingredients and mixed well.

I added the cherries last.

I poured them into the lined muffins tins and topped them with the crumb topping.

To make the crumb topping, cut the butter into the other ingredients until the mixture resembles small pebbles.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until your tester comes out clean.

According to Harold McGee, Tips for Perfect Muffins:
  • Mix muffin batter quickly to minimize toughening gluten and losing leavening gas.  One standard method is to beat the liquid ingredients with sugar to dissolve it, then to combine this with flour and leavening.
  • To obtain a shapely peak on the muffin tops, make sure the batter isn't overleavened, fill the cups almost full, and use a relatively high baking temperature, 400 to 425 degrees F.
  • Start checking doneness early.  The cups in muffin pans have varying capacities, so cooking times will vary.  Remove from the oven when a toothpick or other probe comes out clean from the center.
  • Allow muffins to cool and firm for a few minutes before removing them from the pan.

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