This post is part of a July series on sweet cherries. To see the other posts head here.
I had this idea bobbing around in my head for quite a while before I actually got down to creating the recipe. Almonds and cherries are always a fantastic pairing and I thought they would be so delicious in muffin form. I always love the muffins with a burst of fruit inside so I made a quick cherry pie filling and layered it in the centre of a muffin batter scented with almond extract. I sprinkled some streusel and chopped almonds on top and put them in the oven. The result was a fluffy, almond flavoured muffin with a hidden burst of plump cherries and a little crunch from the almond topping. Just what I was craving!
These muffins freeze well. I wrap mine up individually in plastic wrap, let them freeze and then toss them in a resealable freezer bag. Let them thaw overnight on the counter for a great morning pick-me-up.
- 2 cups cherries, halved and pitted
- ¼ cup sugar
- pinch cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ⅓ cup canola oil
- 1 egg
- ⅓ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
- ½ cup sour cream
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup chopped almonds
- Simmer first 3 ingredients for 10 minutes or until cherries are softened and mixture is liquidy. Stir together cornstarch and water; stir into cherry mixture. Bring back to a simmer and cook until thickened (1-2 minutes). Allow to cool while you make the batter. (This can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to bake).
- Stir together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.
- In a separate bowl mix oil, egg, milk and extract. Stir into flour mixture. Add sour cream and stir until combined.
- Spoon enough batter into 12 paper lined muffin cups just to cover the bottoms nicely. Divide cherry pie filling evenly between muffin cups. Top with remaining batter.
- Mix together flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix in butter until evenly coated. Sprinkle liberally on top of assembled muffins, along with almonds. Bake at 400ºF for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.