We'd been debating what was growing on the tree in the backyard for about a week. The fruit were the size and color of cranberries... but don't those grow on shrubs? Or in bogs? Certainly not on trees in southern Canada. I think?
Whatever it was, the birds and squirrels were enjoying them, leaving mushy, red skins in the shaded grass beneath the tree. The berries were growing bigger each day, taunting me with their mysteriousness.
One afternoon I worked up the courage to just eat one. Given my susceptibility to food allergies, I was nervous. But I just had to know. So, EpiPen in hand, I marched up to the tree and plucked a juicy red berry from its branches, practically daring it to make me sick.
The fruit was both tart and sweet and it dissolved in my mouth, leaving behind a gooey pit. It was a cherry! No hospital visit for me after all!
I've never had my very own fruit tree before, so the idea of stepping into my backyard and filling my apron pockets with fresh, warm cherries just tickles me. And best of all, they're free! Cherries have a short season (late June to August) so they're generally one of the more rare and expensive fruits to purchase from a grocer.
I decided that my first cherry recipe would be a simple, relatively healthy one. I adapted Gordon Ramsay's Banana Oat Muffin recipe to include my new bounty. I added cherries and pumpkin pie spice for flavor and Greek yogurt to moisten them.
For next time, I might go with a cherry cheesecake. Or even a sangria! Oh, the delicious possibilities.
Cherry Banana Oat Muffins
As far as muffins go, these guys are a bit dense and cake-like
so they're best served warm, with a pat of butter and a fork.
yields: 12 muffins
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 beaten egg
4 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup cherries, pitted
Heat oven to 350 F. Butter a muffin pan or place liners.
In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients: oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar.
In a separate bowl, mash the bananas and stir in the wet ingredients: egg, butter and yogurt.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined. Gently fold in the cherries but be sure not to overstir or the batter will toughen.
Scoop into the prepared muffin tin and bake 18 - 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove muffins from the tin immediately and let cool on a wire rack.
Welcome! I'm a pie-baking, dog-loving, antique-hunting patriot. I'm a fan of rustic home cooking, the Yankees and scenic drives through the mountains.