Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tea Bread Tuesday: Cherry Almond Bread

For those who don't know by now, I love tea breads.  A slice of fruity bread, paired with a cup of tea can bring a lot of joy to my day.  Then, if a rainy, summer afternoon happens to come my way, on a day when I don't have to be anywhere else, well, that's as close to ideal as life can get for me.

It so happens that I found myself at home this past weekend, with a luscious bowl of cherries, which are in season now, time on my hands, and the promise of a summer shower later in the day . . . the perfect time to do a little baking.

I've underestimated cherries most of my life.  At first, I used to know them only as the “red fruit” in a can of Libby's Fruit Cocktail, or as the nauseatingly sweet syrup in cough medicine.  Then, one day, I was introduced to “real” cherries in a freshly baked Black Forest cake, while attending a dinner-theatre performance of Cabaret.  When the Master of Ceremonies began singing “Willkomen, Bienvenue, Welcome . . . ”  I felt like it should have been me singing!  They were superb!  The show was pretty good, too.  And that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

If you are planning to experiment with fresh cherries, you'll need a cherry pitter.  It's a little tool that removes the pit from the cherry quickly and efficiently.  It was also fun to use.  I see a lot of cherry desserts in my future (cherry pie comes to mind right away, but we'll leave that for another post.)  The one in the picture above is from Williams-Sonoma.  I'm told that it's also good for pitting olives.  How about that?  I can play with olives, too!

The bread turned out delicious!  The cherry and almond flavors complement each other beautifully, and it was very moist.  This one is a keeper.  Here's the recipe:


1½ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sweet cherries, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
½ milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons almond extract

1.  Preheat oven to 350º F.  Grease and flour a 8" x 4" loaf pan.  Set aside.
2.  In a small bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar.  Gently fold in the cherries, and mix until well coated.
3.  In a separate bowl combine the remaining ingredients and lightly beat with a fork until blended.
4.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry, stirring until just moistened.  Pour batter into pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
5.  Remove from oven, let cool 5 minutes in loaf pan, then invert into serving platter and allow bread to cool completely.  Wrap in plastic wrap until ready to serve.

“Life is just a bowl of cherries, don't take it serious, it's mysterious.  Life is just a bowl of cherries, so live and laugh, and laugh at love, love a laugh, laugh and love.”  —Bob Fosse


Zuni, Chickadee Home Nest said...

This note is going to cover a lot of ground (or posts, I should say), Maria, since I've been sooo out of the blogging loop lately (for one thing, I was trying to add a widget to my blog and instead lost my sidebar with all the blogs I like to follow, and I need to re-enter it, so I haven't seen what you've been posting). So....What a great publicity picture! wow! Love it! And again, congratulations on your promotion--it sounds very exciting, and it's uplifting to "feel" your enthusiasm--including back to school!!?? Now's the time if ever, because once grandbabies come around, if you're blessed to have them nearby you'll be too [blissfully] busy.

And that Tiffany mug??? Never seen one...very nice. I imagine tea might taste just a little better when sipped from it! :)

And the tea bread--cherries and almond--yummmm....I can smell it and taste it! Your description of that perfect day--rain, time on your hands and bowlful of cherries--sounds wonderful! I'm sending your post to a friend who just sent me a picture of her darling cherry tree. She just goes out there and picks a few to enjoy!

Happy to catch up with you, Maria, and thanks for your sweet (as always) comments on my red, white & blue. I can't wait to see what you do for yours! I'm sure it'll be over-the-top beautiful! Happy Fourth, hi to Lee, and I hope your new, exciting job doesn't interfere with visits to our area! :) ~Zuni

Nicki said...

I enjoy cherries but must admit that the contemplation of having to pit them (in addition to the outrageous cost). The bread looks delicious.

Barb said...

I just noticed your post. Beautiful photos! I love fresh cherries but never have baked anything using them. I always take the easy way out and get them from a can. It sounds delicious !

Candy S said...

Cherries are pretty cheap right now (under two dollars a pound) and very sweet and tasty. I adore sweet breads but I seldom try to bake one myself (other than banana bread a couple of times a year), this one sounds so tasty and the recipe looks very doable that I think I will try it out for the weekend..... Candy

xinex said...

Wow! Looks so yummy, Maria!...Christine

Linda (More Fun Less Laundry) said...

Maria, This sounds delicious! We don't usually do cherries because my daughter is extremely allergic to them, but I suppose there is no reason why I can't make this now that it's just me and my hubby here! When you are a mom you get used to keeping the house so safe, but it's time to move on and rediscover this delicious and nutritious fruit. I'll let you know when I try it! Linda