I was talking with someone last week and for the first time described myself as a blogger. I decided in that moment that I don’t much care for the word blogger. It sounds too much like booger. Hi, I’m Rachael, and I’m a food booger. Grumble. Moving on.
We are lucky here in Washington because cherries are everywhere. Right now the first crop of bing cherries came in at my favorite fruit market for $2.88 per pound, so I dropped a bag in my basket. I could sit and eat these ruby jewels entirely by myself, but I’m nice so I shared.
I was excited to dig out my recipe for cherry lemon bread that I’ve only made a few times, but was really in the mood for a cherry almond combination. So I tooled around in the kitchen for awhile and came up with something new: Cherry almond oatmeal bread.
Go ahead, look at it.
First, let’s talk cherry pitting. It doesn’t have to look like a crime scene, and you don’t need any special gadgets. All you need is a large paperclip. I learned this technique years ago and it blew my mind. Basically, you pull the paperclip open, use the small loop to dig into the top of the cherry, massage the flesh around the pit, then pluck it right out the top. Here’s a handy youtube video tutorial to see the magic in action.
Most cherry breads seem to call for whole pitted cherries, but I thought I’d roll differently and mash them up for this bread. The first time I mashed and smashed, got blisters from the fork, and made a huge spattery mess of the counter, dishes and my shirt (note to self: fork-mashing works better on strawberries than cherries). The second time I zipped them in the processor for 2-3 pulses, and that was exactly it. I don’t normally like to dirty extra gadgets if I don’t need to, because for me it takes the fun out of cooking, but here, it’s really the best way to go.
For this bread you’ll mix some flour and oatmeal, then make an aromatic almond batter. Fold in the chopped cherries, sprinkle with sliced almonds, and bake until the house smells amazing. The most time consuming part is pitting the cherries, so set aside a few mama-needs-five-minutes-of-silence moments and do this first.
I played around with the recipe a lot, and I love the addition of the oatmeal. This bread is full of almond and fresh cherry flavors and tastes like a warm summer breakfast on the patio. The sprinkle of almonds on top bake a nice crunch into the bread, and it’s filling without being heavy. A perfect breakfast or afternoon snack.
The boys and I happily ate half of a loaf on the deck one afternoon after coloring rocks with chalk. Toddler-approved, fantastically moist, easily executed, and positively scrumptious. It is absolutely a new cherry season staple, courtesy of your favorite food booger.
- 1 3/4 c flour
- 1/2 c old fashioned oats
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 c brown sugar
- 1/2 c granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 2 c cherries, pitted
- 1/2 c sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 350F.
Spray a 9x5 bread pan with non-stick spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk the dry ingredients and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
Add extracts, then add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until blended.
Add flour/oat mixture and stir just until combined.
Put pitted cherries in a food processor and pulse 2-3 times to get a fine (but a bit chunky) mash.
Fold cherries into batter.
Pour batter into greased bread pan and sprinkle with sliced almonds.
Bake 50-60 minutes until top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool in pan for 20 min, then turn out onto a cooling rack.