Amarena are a sour cherry that come from the Emilia–Romagna region of Italy and you'll most often find them preserved, as these are, in a sweet syrup. They may be small but they have an intense flavour with hints of vanilla and almond. The last time I used these, they were as a secondary ingredient in an apple strudel but this time, since I now have a 2.5kg jar of them (!) they are going to be the main focus.
With those vanilla and almond notes they seem to be a perfect match for friands - and by using potato flour, these little treats are gluten free - no need to feel guilty at all!
150 grams butter, melted and cooled
150 grams pure icing sugar, sifted
50 grams potato flour, sifted
100 grams almond meal
4 egg whites
zest of 1 lemon
36 amarena cherries
Whisk the eggwhites until light and fluffy stopping before they reach soft peak stage.
Put the icing sugar, potato flour and almond meal into a bowl and stir briefly. Make a well in the center and pour in the melted butter and lemon zest - stir to incorporate.
Add a large spoonful of beaten egg white and stir to slacken the mixture before folding through the remaining egg whites - fold the egg whites in a third at at time and be gentle when folding to ensure a light mixture.
Divide the mixture amongst the friand cases (filled to 3/4 level) and top with two amarena cherries.
Bake in a preheated 170°C oven until golden and cooked through - about 15 to 25 minutes.
Let the friands cool in their cases before serving.