Several foraging friends have been experimenting with dehydrating fruit, grinding it into flour, then baking with said flour. I admit, I was skeptical, but since I have great faith in these friends (Alan Bergo, Erica Marciniec Davis, I’m talking to you!), I decided to give it a go. Both Alan and Erica posted about using dried wild cherries, but my wild cherries are reserved for rye whiskey. (Sorry, but there’s no more delicious way to use them and I won’t be swayed.) So I decided to use the deliciously tart autumn olive (aka silverberry aka Eleagnus umbellata) fruit I had in the freezer, and all I can say is WOW! These autumn olive flour muffins are really tasty.
If you’ve got fresh autumn olives, just rinse them and pop them directly in the dehydrator. My fruit was in the freezer, so I had to thaw it before drying, which added a step. Initially I wasn’t convinced the fruit flavor would carry over to the flour, but when I opened up the jar of dried fruit, I got a strong whiff of silverberry. Yay! This is a tart fruit with excellent flavor and color, and I was hoping both would transfer to the muffins. (They did.)
I made a small batch (in case it was a dismal failure), but this recipe can easily be doubled. If you have a favorite basic muffin recipe, feel free to use that and just substitute the silverberry flour for 1/3 of the total flour. Keep the recipe simple, to give the silverberry flour every opportunity to shine. It won’t disappoint you.
To make this gluten-free flour, dehydrate the fruit until it’s absolutely crispy dry, then transfer to an airtight jar until you’re ready to use it. You can grind the dried fruit in a heavy duty blender (like my beloved Vitamix), or a coffee bean/spice grinder. Sift the ground fruit to catch any large pieces of seed before using the flour.
What You’ll Need to Make Autumn olive flour Muffins
- 1/3 cup silverberry flour
- 2/3 cup all purpose flour (or almond flour, or gluten-free flour mix)
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 small egg, lightly beaten
What You’ll Do to Make Autumn olive flour Muffins
Preheat your oven to 400 F.
Combine the first five ingredients in a bowl.
In a second bowl or large cup measure, combine the liquid ingredients, then pour them into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Grease a 6 cup muffin tin, and spoon the batter into the muffin cups, dividing evenly.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the muffin. Let the muffins cool for five minutes in the tin, then remove them from the tin and eat at least one right away, slathered with butter.
Never thought of fruit flour. I’ve made flour from Sunchokes and that’s good.
Hi Blaine, I can’t take credit for the idea of fruit flour, but the recipe idea is mine!
I love this idea — saw it in Alan Bergo’s book using bird cherries and thought it sounded like a really smart way around the “pit problem” that also happens to be grounded in traditional uses. Did you find that you had to adjust the amount of sugar or moisture in your base recipe?
I didn’t make any adjustments to the sugar or moisture in the base recipe. First, because the fruit flour was fully dried, and second because I didn’t want the muffins to be super-sweet. I like that the tartness of the fruit comes through. But you could play with that if you like a sweeter muffin.