Thursday, November 19, 2015

Persimmon Applesauce Spice Muffins

I first became acquainted with persimmons when I was a geology major in college and we studied wild foods. Every weekend for a month we camped out and lived off the land. Fortunately, it was on university property that happened to have persimmon trees loaded with persimmons. We made persimmon pudding, persimmon bread, and persimmon muffins. Some days, with the exception of bowls of greens, it was all we had to eat.

Persimmons are probably not a fruit with which you are all that familiar, and that's a shame. They are sweet and juicy and loaded with nutrition. Persimmons have high levels of dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, and contain both vitamin C and beta carotene. You can cut them in half and eat them like an apple, or dip into it with a spoon and scoop out the pulp. You can also use the pulp interchangeably with applesauce in many recipes, or combine the two, as I have done here, for a delicious, seasonal muffin. 
Persimmon Applesauce Spice Muffins

For muffins:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 extra-large eggs
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup persimmon pulp (from 2 ripe Melissa's Cinnamon Persimmons)*
3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

For topping:
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400
°F. Grease muffin pan.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and brown sugar until well combined, then whisk in butter
 until mixture is creamy. Stir in applesauce and persimmon pulp, then fold in flour mixture until flour is just moistened. Stir in nuts.

Using an ice cream scoop fill muffin pans two thirds full.

Mix together topping ingredients and sprinkle on top of muffins. Bake until muffins are puffed and golden, about 20 minutes. (I made jumbo muffins, with a yield of ten and baked them for 25 minutes.) Cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes, run knife around the edge of each to loosen, and remove muffins from pan to a wire rack to cool slightly.

*To make persimmon pulp, cut the persimmons in half, scoop out the pulp, and place in a blender. Whirl it in the blender until creamy.

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Linda said...

Never tried one and don't know how to pick one out! In texture are they like an apricot, mango, kiwi? Mom always talked about how sour they were. Did you do all that persimmon cooking outside at the campfire? I'm impressed.

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

Persimmons are singular. The texture is, hmmm, soft and pulpy, when they are suitably ripe. They are not sour at all. They cause you to pucker if you bite into one that is unripe, but that is because they have a lot of tannin when unripe. They are in no way sour, but sort of give the inside of your mouth a fuzzy taste. They need to be experienced in order to fully understand.