The season of Cherries is upon us! These trees are in my friends’ expansive organic AND biodynamic orchard in Paonia, Colorado – in the fruit grower’s valley, THE fruit grower’s valley of the state. I have an Italian plum, small “summer” apple, a big grape bower with Reliance and Thompson seedless grapes, a small strawberry bed, scraggly raspberry bush, and a towering bonanza of elderberry bushes. Here and now, it’s cherries:
Succulent and tart and such a precious treasure to pull from the freezer in the dead of winter! But now, please enjoy my favorite brownie recipe, gluten free of course, with a little orange (or tangerine) zest to make them sparkle even more.
Sour Cherry Chocolate Gluten Free Brownies
Enjoyed warm with ice cream or by the square, these are absolutely moist and wonderful, with bursts of tart cherry delighting the senses! Have gluten free flour blend on hand by combining 3 full bags (Bob’s Red Mill quality flours) in your flour canister, specifics below.
½ c. quality butter, such as Challenge Butter ~ ½ organic brown sugar ~ ½ c. organic cocoa ~ 2 tbsp. orange zest ~ 1 tsp. orange extract ~ 2 organic eggs ~¾ c. gluten free flour blend: 1 part sorghum flour, 1 part rice flour, one part tapioca flour ~ 1 tsp. aluminum free baking powder ~ pinch salt ~ 1 ½ c. sour pitted cherries
Preheat oven to 350. Butter 9 inch baking pan. Cream first five ingredients until well blended. Beat in eggs. Whisk in dry ingredients. Fold in cherries. Scrape batter into prepared pan, and bake in center of oven for 25 minutes. Gently check center of brownies with your finger. If brownies are set and spring back slightly, remove from oven and cut.
Cherry jam is a treasure too, on winter holidays and anytime in between. I made this batch with about 10 cups whole pitted cherries simmered over medium heat until they collapsed into themselves, along with about a cup of organic sugar and a half cup local honey until the juice thickened, then ladled into sterilized jars and admired as the jam gleamed in the sun.