Recent weeks have seen me spending quite a lot of time wandering* around Lidingö, a rather affluent suburb of Stockholm where there are huge houses with million dollar views and magnificent sprawling yards. Most of these yards boast an assortment of fruit trees, many of which lean against the fence at the perimeter of the yard and arch over the road, meaning there is an abundance of fruit easily within my grasp as I walk by. Mostly its been cherries, several varietals of which I’ve been eating by the fistful, but there are also raspberry canes pushing through fences, and the occasional patch of smultron, a teeny but fiercely sweet feral cousin of the strawberry.
Between eyeing up the apple and pear trees that in mere weeks will be dropping ripe fruit onto the roads, and cramming handful after handful of cherries into my mouth, I’ve been dreaming of cherry muffins. I’ve been wanting to do a muffin with rye flour for some time, what with living in the land of all things råg (rye in Swedish), and in my mind dark juicy cherries seemed to be a natural pairing for the malty flavour of rye flour.
For inspiration I looked to Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain, which, if you’ve been hanging around here for a while you’ve heard me talk about before, and which I own two copies of so that whether I am in Stockholm or Vancouver I am never without it. It’s a marvelous book and if you like to bake with whole grain flours you must get yourself a copy. In any case, lucky for me Kim had a muffin recipe with rye flour which I tinkered around with until I achieved my cherry rye muffin vision.
The original recipe was for banana muffins with cooked cracked grain cereal. I have used the same basic framework of rye flour with mashed banana and a cooked cereal grain, but otherwise I don’ think these muffins are too similar to their parents. I reduced the fat by a third and added a bit of plain yoghurt to make up for it. I also reduced the number of bananas in this muffin because, while I wanted sweetness and moisture from the bananas, I preferred for the cherries to be the star of the show. Because it is the weekend and yesterday was the first official day of Paul’s summer holidays, after I had spooned half of the batter into muffin tins I couldn’t resist stirring come coarsely chopped dark chocolate into the remaining batter and turning them into chocolate cherry weekend muffins. Let me tell you, those are good.
One year ago: Tapas de Palma de Mallorca
Cherry Rye Muffins Recipe:
Inspired by Good to the Grain.
Pitting cherries is messy business no matter how you approach it. I started with using the same method I use for pitting olives; pushing the broad side of a knife down over top until the fruit splits in half and the pit is easy to slide out. This resulted in getting splattered with a fair amount of cherry juice, and since I seem to have lost all of my aprons in the move, I switched to splitting the cherries in half with a knife and sort of digging the pit out with the tip. If you are in possession of a cherry pitter, come hang out sometime.
Makes 12 medium muffins.
1/4 cup (55g, 2 oz) room temperature butter
1/4 cup light brown muscovado sugar
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
scant 3/4 cup cooked oatmeal
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 cup whole grain rye flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup halved and pitted cherries
1/2 cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate (optional – but double this amount if you want the whole batch to have chocolate)
Preheat oven to 350 F / 180 C. Butter muffin tins and set aside.
In a medium bowl sift together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl whisk together butter and sugar until fluffy, using an electric mixer. Add egg, mixing until well incorporated, and then add mashed bananas, oatmeal, yoghurt, and maple syrup. Using a wooden spoon or a spatula, fold in the flour mixture until just combined. Add cherries and, if using, add chocolate as well. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin tins. Bake for 35 – 40 min, rotating the pan once half way through.
*I’m not just wandering around random neighbourhoods stealing fruit, it’s a part of my new job walking dogs**. In other words, I’m putting my nutrition degree to good use.
**This was always planned as stage 1 of my what-to-do-after-graduation-master-plan. Stay tuned for stage 2.
All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2011