Chock full of fresh cherries with a hit of tart lemon, these muffins go equally well with a cup of tea or coffee or even a glass of milk, making breakfast or snack time special.
I started doing Muffin Monday almost three years ago today with this Banana Bacon Peanut Butter Chip Muffin. Until these last few weeks, when I’ve been traveling, I had not missed a single week since then. Even so, this is my 150th Muffin Monday! Muffins are so easy to bake. They can be relatively healthy, made with less sugar than a cupcake with none of the cloyingly sweet icing that a cupcake requires, the batter filled with a variety of fruit, nuts and other add-ins like chocolate, bacon, jam and cheese. Yes, the flexible muffin can be sweet or savory. If you tell me you can’t bake, I’m going to suggest you start with muffins. One bowl holds your wet ingredients, the other your dry. Mix them together and bake. Nothing is more simple yet creates a fluffy, tender baked good in under 30 minutes.
For the first time in many years, cherries in Houston are on sale for $1.87 a pound which is less than one dollar per kilo. And I just can’t get enough of them! This muffin is a celebration of the seasonal Bing cherries, brightened with fresh lemon juice and zest. I baked them yesterday morning and, after they cooled, popped them in a plastic container to take along to the beach. It was a lovely day, watching my little nieces seine for fish with their father on Galveston Bay, while chatting with my sister, mother and daughter from the high perch of their beautiful front porch, where the wind cooled us off and the sea view went on forever and ever.
2 cups or 250g flour
1/2 cup or 115g sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small lemon (for zest and 4 teaspoons juice)
3/4 cup or 180ml milk
1/3 cup or 75ml canola or other light oil
5 2/3 oz or 160g 125g pitted fresh cherries (about 3/4 cup once quartered)
Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C. Butter or grease your muffin pan or line it with paper liners.
Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl.
Grate in the lemon zest and mix.
Put the bigger pile of cut cherries in the flour mixture and toss well to cover.
In another smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil and lemon juice.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir until just mixed through.
Divide the mixture between the muffin cups in pan. Top with reserved cherry quarters.
Bake in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Allow them to cool for a few minutes then remove the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.