Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sweet Summer

Berries, I've determined, have personality. Think about it:

Strawberries. These are the berry-next-door--sweet, friendly, laid back, and familiar. They're not the most expensive or classiest berry, but they go well with just about anything, and just about everyone likes them.

Raspberries. These are the snazzy berries, a little froofier and with more attitude than strawberries, and definitely more expensive. They're more bistro than backyard, definitely not everyday fare.

Blueberries. They're slightly more mysterious and hard to nail down--and, let's face it, sorta seedy. Not everyone gets off to these guys (but that could just be because they're misunderstood).

Skipping all the "what the heck?" berries, like loganberries, huckleberries (the only Huckleberry I know is from Mark Twain), etc., we come to my intended topic: cherries. Cherries have ridiculously subtle pizazz. They're simple, sleek, and breezy. They're juicy and plump. They're America. And they're SUMMER.

In honor of the last leg of summer (which I am NOT ready to say goodbye to), let's give the cherry some stage time. Come on, put the apples back in the produce bin, folks; they can wait a few more weeks. For now, let's just lounge on the back porch together, soaking in the sunshine, chatting, and having iced tea and soft hunks of cherry almond bread.

Summer Cherry Almond Bread

  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/3 cup butter, softened

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour (or all-purpose is fine; I just like bread flour, if I happen to have it)

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt (or light sour cream)

  • 1 cup chopped frozen cherries (NOT thawed)

Heat oven to 350. Spray an 8-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Combine white sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle into bottom and sides of pan; tap out excess.

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and extracts and mix well. In separate bowl, stir together dry ingredients. Add to butter mixture, mixing well; then stir in sour cream. Fold in cherries.

Pour batter into pan, and bake about 55 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes; then remove to wire rack to cool completely (if you can stay out of it that long).


  1. Ahh, the famous cherry bread. I must try this, it sounds delish:)

  2. Nicely said, Amber, and quite accurate in my opinion. Your creations look wonderful! Keep up the good work in the kitchen--and on the keyboard.

  3. Your blog is quite... white. ;) Mine is quite black. Ah, what opposites we are.