January 5, 2022
Some recipes come from inspiration, while other recipes were born out of necessity, like this one. I first baked this bread years ago. The cherry season had just started in Umbria and I was really in the mood for fresh, sweet cherries. I really love cherries, but I like mine as firm and I eat them soon after they’re picked. I sent my husband to the store to pick up some things for me and told him to buy cherries too if they looked nice. In general, I prefer to buy almost all of my products from the outdoor markets rather than the corner grocery store, but thought I’d risk it this time. My husband brought home a large bag of cherries, but to me they were overripe and just not the kind I like to nibble on. Since I didn’t want to spoil a whole bag of cherries right away, I decided to bake something with them instead.
Because almonds and cherries go so well together, I tweaked a simple bread recipe I use often to include both ground almonds and my overripe cherries and I was delighted with how well it worked. While firm sour cherries are ideal for eating, ripe sweet cherries are wonderful in baked goods! Instead of cherries, you can also use other fruits such as raspberries, chopped fresh apricots or peaches. Please note that the yolk of Italian eggs is usually much darker in color than that of North American eggs, which is why this bread is so golden in color. I make this bread all year round and use sweet or tart frozen cherries when they are not in season. Fortunately, frozen cherries fit this recipe perfectly!
Enjoy your meal!
Deborah Mele Revised 2022
1 cup of blanched almonds, finely ground
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 (or 1 stick) unsalted, softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups pitted ripe cherries, cut into quarters
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Grease an 8 by 4 inch loaf pan. In a bowl, mix together the flour, ground almonds, salt, and baking powder.
- In another bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed with a hand mixer or table mixer until frothy.
- Add the eggs one at a time and beat them well.
- Add almond extract and mix.
- Add 1/2 of the flour mixture and stir briefly.
- Add the rest of the flour mixture and beat until no more flour can be seen.
- Add the cherries and stir into the mixture.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, sprinkle with sliced almonds and bake for about 55 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean if it is placed in the center.
- If the loaf turns too brown before baking, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.
- Let cool for 15 minutes before removing the bread from the pan.