Persimmon Muffins

I haven’t eaten a persimmon in at least a few years, so I’m not sure why I decided to buy 3 hard-as-a-rock hachiya persimmons at the store the other day. As soon as I brought them home I started looking for recipes, but immediately realized it would be days (weeks?) before they were ripe enough to bake with. So I took them to Portland in case they ripened there (they didn’t), then brought them back here and finally they were nice and soft and ready to puree.


Look! Seasonally appropriate and orange, but not pumpkin. Not that I’m sick of pumpkin, it’s just a nice change. Pureeing persimmons is ridiculously easy. I just chopped the green part off and put the whole thing in the blender. Within a minute I had this!

And for the second time in a month, I’m using brandy. First it was lentils and mushrooms and now it’s these muffins. I’m going to be due for a new bottle soon.

The weird thing about these muffins is that they don’t taste like persimmons. They kind of taste like bran muffins with a faint hint of fruitcake (but not in the gross cardboard way…in the slightly sweet and fruity way). The texture is just like any other muffin, even though I cut the sugar and oil both in half and added extra persimmon puree.

I baked them last night while Mike worked on decorating our apartment. We’re not going to get a tree because it would take up the entire living room, but we do have stockings!

They were a dollar each at Target. For about 45 seconds I was convinced I needed to buy a glitter pen and write our names on them, but then I realized I had far more important things to do, like grade piles of labs. Bummer.
We also have lights!

Just about every other apartment in our building has decorations in the windows so we needed to do something mildly festive.

As far as running goes, I’ve been really lame since that 25-miler. I’ve had a pretty bad sore throat that is not getting better no matter how many chloraseptic drops I use, so that’s kept me off the roads, but I did go the gym and run 4.2 miles on the treadmill this morning. The only thing worse than the treadmill is watching Fox News while on the treadmill. I thought my head was going to explode, but I was so bored I needed something to help pass the time. Sunlight, please come back to me. I miss running outside SO MUCH already.

At least I still have a few of these mini muffins to cheer me up.

Recipe:
(adapted from James Beard via David Lebovitz)

this made 4 regular muffins + 24 mini muffins, so I’m guessing it would be 10-12 regular muffins or about 30 mini muffins

1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, gently beaten
1/4 cup brandy
1 1/2 cups persimmon puree (put 3 very ripe hachiya persimmons in a blender and puree)
1 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease your muffin pans.

Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, and ginger.

In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, brandy, eggs, and persimmon puree. Mix well.

Gently stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, mixing just until combined. Fold in the raisins. Divide evenly among the muffin pans, filling them almost to the top.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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