Recipe for Cherry Almond Bread: Sweet, Nutty, Comfortable
Nuts provide a lot of pizzazz, whether straight up or in a recipe. They enliven breads, especially when they’re joined by luscious fruits such as maraschino cherries. My family’s gorgeous recipe for cherry almond bread is shared.
Maraschino cherries are sweetened, preserved cherries which originally referred to Marasca cherries (Prunus cerasus var. marasca), a cultivated form of the dark-skinned, tart Morello cherry (Prunus avium Morello). The finest examples of Marasca cherries are grown along the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea in Dalmatia, a historic region in southern Croatia. Successful cultivations are also found in northern Italy, Slovenia, southern Hungary, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Although naturalized in the United States, Marasca cherries tend to be replaced by American producers with the Royal Ann sweet cherry variety in products labeled as maraschino cherries.
Maraschino cherries traditionally were preserved in a liqueur which derived its distinctive flavor from the cherries and almond-like flavor of their crushed pits. In the United States, imitation maraschino cherries mostly refer to Royal Ann cherries, also known as Napoleon or Queen Anne, which have been artificially colored with Red Number 4 dye and soaked in a sugar syrup, usually flavored with oil of bitter almonds. Green maraschino cherries are flavored with mint.
Maraschino cherries enjoy hallowed status as a garnish, prettily posing atop such desserts as cakes, ice cream sundaes, and parfaits and such main dishes as baked ham in the United States and pork pies in the United Kingdom. Although visibility is part of their allure, maraschino cherries also combine well with other internal ingredients in baked goods such as breads or muffins.
My family’s recipe for Cherry Almond Bread pairs maraschino cherries with almonds to evoke a distinctive aroma and taste which are reminiscent of true maraschino cherries from Croatia.
My Family’s Recipe for Cherry Almond Bread
- 1 Tablespoon sunflower oil (for greasing pan)
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup sugar in the raw (turbinado in US, demerara in UK)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup honey
- 3 Tablespoons sunflower oil
- 1 egg, cage-free brown
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 jar (10 ounces) maraschino cherries, with liquid
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 9 x 5 x 3 inches loaf pan
- large mixing bowl
- 4-cup measuring cup
- 1/2 cup measuring cup
- 1 cup measuring cup
- Tablespoon measuring scoop
- 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon
- 1 teaspoon measuring spoon
- large serving plate
1) Preheat oven to 350 º Fahrenheit (176 º Celsius; gas mark 4).
2) Briefly warm loaf pan in oven; then drizzle 1 Tablespoon of sunflower oil and spread with pastry brush, spatula, or fingers to coat bottom and sides of pan.
3) In large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients first: flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, and sugar.
4) Add buttermilk, honey, oil, egg, and almond extract; beat for 30 seconds.
5) Gently fold in maraschino cherries, with liquid, and most of almond silvers, reserving desired portion for sprinkling as topping.
6) Pour batter into loaf pan; dot top with remaining almond slivers.
7) Bake at 350 º F for about 60 minutes; a toothpick inserted in center should come out clean.
8) Allow to sit for about 5 to 10 minutes; then loosen sides with knife; remove from pan by gently upending over serving plate and then setting upright.
9) Enjoy the harmonious, fragrant, tasty pairing of cherries and almonds.
Copyright: Thursday, August 2, 2012 by Stessily.