One of the best parts of travel is getting to taste local specialties. That was certainly what I had in mind recently when I found myself hungry for breakfast in Michigan and looking at these! But I had to pause and ask the cashier what she thought of the cherry muffins. She immediately said “They are my favorite! I eat one most days I’m working.” She wondered why I asked and I said I was thinking of a friend of mine who’s family grows cherries and apples in Michigan and just wondered if they were local. Her reply was that she’s always wanted to go to that area around Traverse City and I knew this woman had the lowdow on cherry muffins! the conversation was over & I had a muffin to eat!
So the farmer I was thinking of is Ben LaCross, who farms in Cedar, Michigan with family. He’s in the area she’s thinking she needs to see! I’ve caught up with Ben a few times here and there… and have really enjoyed hearing about his farm. You can read about it his family farm here. Since he and his wife have always been so helpful & friendly, I asked if the family has a favorite cherry muffin recipe. AND OF COURSE THEY DO! Ben said his mom made some last weekend. Now I’m thinking I need some!
LaCross Family RECIPE
for Cherry Muffins
- ½ cup Butter, unsalted, room temp
- 1 cup + 2 TBL Sugar
- 2 Eggs, large
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- ½ tsp Lemon Zest, fresh
- 1 ¾ cup minus 3 TBL Flour, all purpose
- 3 TBL Cornstarch
- ¼ cup Yellow Cornmeal, finely ground
- ¼ tsp Salt
- 1/8 tsp Cinnamon
- ¼ cup Milk
- ¼ cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 2 ½ cup Tart Cherries (kind used for pies)
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease or line with paper 12 muffin cups.
- Cream butter and 1 Cup sugar; Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add baking powder and mix well. Add vanilla and lemon zest and mix well.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, cornmeal, salt, and cinnamon. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix lightly. Then add the milk and heavy cream and stir well with a spoon or spatula. Add the remaining dry ingredients and stir just to combine. Do not overmix.
- For the cherries, unthaw frozen tart cherries, or rehydrate dried cherries for 20 minutes under warm water (you could also use cherry pie filling, making sure to only add the cherries). Fold in the cherries to the batter. Spoon into muffin cups, and sprinkle them evenly with the remaining 2 TBL sugar. Bakin in the center of the oven until the muffins are golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.
I can’t wait to eat some yummy muffins!
Ben did a video on apple harvest this year that gives me a little bit of a feel for the area his family farms in. Be careful…. if you watch this, you will want an apple pie to go with those muffins you are already craving!
If you have questions for Ben about growing fruit, I’m sure he’d be glad to answer them! And maybe some others will chime in too!