After I pulled this batch of muffins out of the oven, I immediately thought that I should have made muffin-tops instead of the whole muffin. The tops were perfectly domed, rising up nicely over the top of the muffin tin, and had a slightly crisp top, thanks to some sugar sprinkled on before baking.
Then I tasted one of the slightly cooled muffins and was glad that I hadn’t. While this recipe probably would make excellent muffin tops if you have a specialty muffin top tin, even the “stumps” of the muffins are tasty. They have a good cherry flavor and a slightly dense, but tender, texture. Combined with the little crunch of sugar on top, the muffins had a coffee cake-like feel to them.
To ensure that you get a good rise, make sure your muffin cups are about 3/4 of the way full. This will provide enough batter to lift above the rim of the muffin cup. Also, don’t worry if your batter has a pink/purple hue to it. The cherry juice is responsible, but the muffins will take on a more normal look during baking.
I recommend using a food processor to “pulse” the defrosted cherries. This will give you some variety of size and saves a lot of the time that would be needed if you were simply to try and chop them.
Black Cherry Sour Cream Muffins
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup sour cream (light or regular)
1/4 cup cherry juice (or milk, if juice is unavailable)
1 cup pitted black cherries (defrosted, if frozen), chopped
coarse sugar, for topping
Preheat oven to 375F and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, beat together sugar, egg and melted butter. Add in 1/2 of the flour and the sour cream and stir to combine. Stir in cherry juice (or milk) and remaining flour, just until no streaks of flour remain. Stir in cherries and divide into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle each generously with sugar.
Bake for 16-19 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Makes 1 dozen.