One of our family friends has a wild persimmon tree on her property and was kind enough to share her harvest with us. I’m always so delighted to receive produce from local gardens but didn’t quite know what to do with these little beauties. I’d heard of persimmon cakes, breads, and pies before, but what initially sparked my interest was muffins.
Persimmons are an orange-colored fruit native to China and Japan. There are hundreds of varieties of persimmons, but just two types are commercially available – the fuyu (featured here) and the hachiya.
These luscious orbs of fruit may appear exotic but persimmon trees are quite abundant in Oklahoma. Native Oklahoma persimmons are distinct from the Oriental varieties given the soil and climate differences. They taste like nothing I’ve ever had before. The flavor is not overwhelmingly sweet and has a unique hint of fig and honey.
When the persimmons are ripe like this, the jelly-like pulp inside tastes delicately sweet.
The most convenient way to extract the pulp is by pushing it through a sieve.
The persimmon puree will have a smooth texture.
This recipe, adapted from other various muffin and banana bread recipes, turned out to be surprisingly delightful.
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp ground allspice
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 cup persimmon puree
1/2 cup applesauce
2 eggs plus 1 egg white
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp melted butter
2/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
Demerara sugar to sprinkle on top
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners.
- Sieve 1 cup of persimmon puree and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients – all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, allspice, cinnamon and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining wet ingredients – lemon zest, persimmon puree, applesauce, eggs, coconut oil, butter and Greek yogurt.
- Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined (the batter will be somewhat lumpy).
- Fill each of the muffin cups with batter 3/4ths of the way full.
- Sprinkle the muffins with Demerara sugar and bake for 22-25 minutes.
Yield: 24 muffins