May 27, 2020

Fruit Muffins – Husk Cherry Edition

Fruit Muffins - Husk Cherry Edition

Faith Pineo Photo | Fruit Muffins – Husk Cherry Edition

Sitting in the front cover of the oldest cookbook we own is this recipe on a small, slightly yellowed envelope. It’s written in my grandmother’s hand and doesn’t actually list the ingredients but writes the amounts as you mix the batter.

The original recipe used blueberries – a delicious choice – and we’re thinking we may try some chopped apple this year and maybe a batch with raspberries. But what we had on hand were husk cherries from the farmers’ market.

I’ve grown husk cherries in the past, but the plants didn’t do anything this year for me. So I was excited to see them at the Hampden market. The fruit is also called pineapple tomatillo because some think the flavor resembles a pineapple (I don’t agree), or it may be called ground cherry.

Husk cherries are a type of tomatillo, which means the fruit is encased in a husk that turns papery when ripe. And these beauties are a golden color, growing bigger than a pea but smaller than a grape in size.

I used about 2 cups of them, cutting the larger ones in half and leaving the small ones whole.

Fruit Muffins – Husk Cherry Edition

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
2 cups husk cherries, with paper husks removed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a 12-cup muffin tin with either cupcake/muffin papers or by greasing the cups and top of the pan.

Cream butter and sugar, stirring by hand until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.

Combine alternately the dry ingredients with the milk. (I don’t sift the dry together for it isn’t necessary; I simply add half the flour and baking powder and all the salt, mix it thoroughly, then put in half of the milk and stir until smooth. Then I repeat with the last of the dry ingredients, ending with adding the last of the milk.)

Gently fold in the fruit.

Fill each cup in the tin; they will be piled quite high. Generously sprinkle the top of each muffin with sugar.

Bake for 30 minutes, testing with a toothpick or cake tester. The tops should be golden.

Cool in pan.

Fruit Muffins – Blueberry Edition

Use 2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries for the fruit. Mash 1/2 cup of the berries and add that to the batter before folding in 2 cups of whole blueberries.
If using frozen, you don’t need to mash any of the berries first.

– Janine Pineo