Monday, June 25, 2012

Good Niight Curt Borchert (Cherry Pie Muffin Recipe)

Like clockwork....the Last American Baker shows up to his coffee shop at 7:12 a.m. to order his large light roast, 2 shots of espresso (with a little bit of ice) to kick start PHASE #2 of his day.

While standing in line, the shops longest tenured barista Phil is working the counter.

On his head he was wearing a Fidel Castro looking hat, so it took me a moment to realize that over the weekend he had participated in his biannual head shaving.

Phil is an intresting cat, and I value his friendship because he may have the most well round mind in my city.

Although his comments are soft spoken, he often offers up conversations ranging from Sci-Fi books in the 70's to current Japanese rock stars.

The guy could pretty much work for MTV or PBS and navigate through his daily chores with equal ease.

So on this day, he brings up how he has been baking some "Cherry Pie Muffins" and the second he says this, my palate starts lusting after the flavor of cherry pie filling.

I've never been a "Lick the can" guy, but when it come to cherries, lets just say Klecko can neither confirm or deny can licking protocol.

 I checked my e-mails, while doing this, and I got some sobering news.

It was reported that the man (Curt Borchert) who has been the mastermind behind the Upper Midwest Baking Association had recently died.

In the Midwestern - United States, if you are a commercial or retail baker, this news is huge, it's kinda like beeing a sports junkie and finding out Pele or Derek Jeter just passed away.

Now I'm standing there, a little quiet, and kinda in shock and I began to shake my head knowing that in the last few years, I have found myself getting this type of bad news over the internet.

Now I don't want to sound like a hater, but I think when a person sheds their mortal coil, each of us is deserving of a sharp trumpet blast, and then a large scroll should be rolled out across the floor like a red carpet and somebody with a soothing voice should gently break the news to us, while we the crowd see transparent cherubs fluttering over the orators shoulder.

It only seems fair.

But this is 2012, and now days you find out that an Icon has fallen from a cell phone in a coffee line....sigh

Needless to say, my heart and prayers go out to Mr. Borchert's family, I share in their grief.

When people pass, I usually don't like to express personal thoughts, not during the grieving period.

To me, the words oftentimes are deluded, people seemed to be pushed into a corner where they feel compelled to respond.

But then I saw Billy Hanisch's e-mail (he owns a bakery in Red Wing MN) in a chain that had been circulating throughout our states baking community.

It read.....

"Tonight I will bake with a heavy heart."

Bravo Billy, what more could another baker ask for than to know that another person from their camp would pay their respects while standing in front of the oven.

Cherry Pie Muffins

  • 2 cups all-purpose baking mix
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 15 oz cherry pie filling
  • 5 oz diced rhubarb
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp b-powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F) .

  Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper baking cups.

Stir together the baking mix, white sugar, egg, and milk in a bowl just until combined.

Stir in 1/2 of the cherry pie filling and rhubarb pieces.

Fill the lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Top each muffin with cherries from the remaining cherry pie filling.

Mix flour, brown sugar, melted butter, and cinnamon, b-powder and salt together in a small bowl and hand mix until it becomes crumbly.

 Sprinkle over the muffins.

Bake until done.


Klecko has started his 3rd and final Blog entitled "Church of the Warsaw Saints"

If - Last American Baker - addresses the palate.....

And - Poets are Lame (and other things Mike Finley taught me) - addresses the heart.....

Then - Church of the Warsaw Saint - is meant to target the soul.

It too is hosted on BLOGGER


  1. We will all miss Curt, he trained some of my bakers when Eileen and I owned our shop in Norwood. Dan & Eileen

    1. Agreed, the Midwest will forever be in his debt.