A Slice of Life: The Lore of the Cherries…

Cherries are great for baking pies!

While the debate rages on whether or not six year old George Washington actually cut down his father’s cherry tree with an ax, what’s indisputable is that American’s are fascinated with cherries. Not only do we celebrate the arrival of the cherry tree blossoms each year with a national festival, Americans consume over a pound of cherries per person, per year.

As for my family, we pay homage to cherries right in our own backyard. We’re not certain of the exact age of the majestic sour cherry tree but considering it’s circumference is just over twelve feet, and that our house itself dates back to the late 1880s, I suspect it’s been there a LONG time. We welcome the arrival of warm spring days and it’s puffy white blossoms and take joy in picking its round, red berries in the evenings during the summer. Admittedly, despite the abundance of its fruit, I don’t use it in my cherry pies because I simply don’t have the time to de-pit them by hand, one…at…a…time.

While searching for a cherry recipe to feature (and, for the record, don’t bother with the National Cherry Blossom Festival Page that features video cameras so you can watch blossoms grow but not one single, solitary recipe), I came across one for “Cherry Pie Muffins.” “Oh!” I thought. We like cherries, we certainly like pie and we like anything baked in a cupcake paper even if they’re technically muffins.

Muffin Ingredients:

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

1/2 cup of vegetable oil

2/3 cups brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup milk

1 can cherry pie filling

Topping Ingredients:

1/3 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, and brown sugar. Add the remaining ingredients and stir together just until incorporated. Spoon into muffin tins lined with cupcake wrappers. In a small bowl, mix together the topping ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle generously on each muffin. Bake in an oven preheated to 375 degrees for 17-19 minutes, until the top of each muffin springs back when touched lightly with your finger. Cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!

Sadly, out of the blue, one of the largest limbs of my cherry tree came crashing down recently. Since I was gazing at it at the exact moment it occurred (thankfully from the safety of my kitchen widow), I can attest to the fact that it did so without the assistance of my son or an ax. Which makes me think of the George Washington story….

Who in the world gives a six year old an ax to play with anyhow?

Felicia Fisher is the founder of the Black Buggy Baking Company and lives in Oley, Pa. with her husband and three children who are all willing taste-testers.

For more information on what Felicia’s baking up visit her web page www.blackbuggybakingcompany.com or “Like” the Black Buggy Baking Company on Facebook.