Cherry Almond mini muffins.
On our humble little urban farm we have a very, VERY large cherry tree. I gaze upon it frequently. Because it is so large---and hasn't been pruned in many, many years---we cannot even reach the lowest branches with a standard ladder. (Ah: now 'cherry picker' makes so much sense!).
When we moved in, I had no idea what type of cherries were going to dangle from its branches. Until this season: and giddy doesn't begin to describe my excitement when Rainier Cherries grew plump on each limb. Really? What luck, what joy to find my favorite kind of cherry, ready and willing to fill my baskets.
But forgive the picture [of mini muffins]: it is not of my beloved cherries. First of all: I have no enormous ladder---or cherry picker for that matter. And second: I was in Italy when the cherries ripened and dropped. It was a trade-off. What could I do? My cherries or not: do please make these adorable muffins. Especially if cherries still adorn the tables at your local farmer's market.
In the meantime: I will keep my eyes out at garage sales for a long, long ladder.
Cherry Almond Mini Muffins Makes 24.
1 1/4 sticks butter 1 cup flour 1 1/4 cup finely ground almonds 1 cup sugar 1 tsp coarse salt 5 large egg whites 4 tsp cherry brandy 24 stemmed cherries
Preheat oven to 400. Butter and flour muffin tin. Melt 1 1 /4 sticks (10 T) butter in skillet over medium high; when sputtering, lower heat, swirling, until butter just begins to brown. Off heat; skim off foam. Mix flour, almonds, sugar and salt in bowl. Whisk in egg whites. Add brandy and butter (pour in all but the brown residue) and blend. Put 1 T batter in each muffin cup, press cherry into each and top with enough batter to cover. Bake 12-15 minutes. Let cool slightly; loosen in molds and serve.