One of my co-workers sent me a text the other night. She wanted to know if she might be able to successfully dry some of her sour cherries in the oven. Her cherry tree had produced a bumper crop of fruit and she was creatively thinking of ways to preserve the bounty. I quickly suggested she borrow my dehydrator as it is super easy to dry fruits and vegetables in this portable unit. In return, she offered me some of those beautiful sour cherries. I felt like one lucky girl!
I quickly pitted, chopped and bagged the fruit to put in the freezer as I wasn’t quite sure what I would make with them. Cherry pie filling… sour cherry jam… muffins … scones? I settled on Iced Sour Cherry Muffins. What a great choice as these muffins are tart and sweet, packed with a good dose of sour cherries. The recipe only needed two cups worth of fruit so I froze the rest of the cherries for another day, another recipe. I used some of the batter for muffins and the rest for a small loaf of quick bread. Again, I am one lucky girl!
Iced Sour Cherry Muffins/Quick Bread
¾ cup buttermilk
¼ cup orange juice
⅔ cup canola oil
1 large egg
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 heaping tablespoon orange zest
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups sour cherries (pitted and chopped)
2 tablespoons brown sugar and cinnamon instant oatmeal (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If making muffins, line pans with paper liners or use silicone muffin cups. If making quick bread, spray small loaf pans with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl mix together buttermilk, orange juice, extract, canola oil and egg; mix well. Next, add the orange zest, flour, sugar, and baking powder; mix well. Carefully fold in the cherries, just until combined. Scoop batter into muffins cups about ¾ full. Sprinkle with instant oatmeal mix (optional).
Bake for 25 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. (If making 7×3″ loaves, fill and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.)
Let rest for a few minutes, and then transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before icing.
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon milk or orange juice
In a medium mixing bowl, combine ingredients and mix well. If glaze is too thick, carefully add extra juice or water (a 1/2 teaspoon at a time) until mixture is smooth and creamy. Lightly drizzle glaze over cooled muffins.