Like many kids, I was a pretty picky eater until much later in life. It wasn’t until I was in high school, and started cooking, that I started to explore new foods and flavors. Because of this I didn’t realize I even liked many common foods, like mushrooms and broccoli, until I was practically an adult.
One food, persimmons, was one of the many foods that I never had a chance to try until adulthood. However, unlike mushrooms, persimmons aren’t AS common as say mushrooms, so at least I know I am not the only one who may not be as familiar with this fall fruit.
For those of you that don’t know, persimmons, are an orangish-yellow fall fruit that when ripe, have a delicate sweet honey flavor. They are popular in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese cuisines, In the US, persimmons can be found in many grocery stores, but are a widely popular farmers market find in most parts of the country.
When I first discovered this fruit, I savored it’s sweet flavor. That first bite was so enjoyable that last fall, while shopping at a local farmer’s market, I purchased a big bushel of this still “new to me” fruit.
I had big things planned for that bushel of persimmons. At the time I was in the process of making some videos for the blog, and was shooting a little “about me” video and some recipe videos.
The day of the persimmon video shoot, I was in the middle of talking about the persimmons and our local farmer’s market. For the video I start cutting the persimmon and go in for the “bite shot” and then, as I bit into the persimmon, my face puckered up and I gagged, all on camera, as it was the worst tasting (not to mention the texture so awful… dry and grainy) thing I have probably ever tasted in my life! Too bad for you all I don’t have access to those videos at the present moment!
Now, I’m not sharing this story to scare you off, but as a lesson. You see, persimmons ONLY have that delicate honey flavor when ripe, otherwise they are bitter… very, very bitter.
Because of that, I was scared to try the persimmons again on their own. I waited until I knew for sure they were ripe and then searched high and low for the best recipes to use my bounty of persimmons. Yup, I only dared to try them if they were mixed with other things.
Through my persimmon catastrophe I tried these Persimmon Cookies and this Persimmon Sweet Potato Soup and then the Spiced Persimmon Muffins I am sharing today. These recipes helped me cope with my unpleasant persimmon experience and gave me a way to use up my outrageous supply of persimmons in a delicious way.
These Spiced Persimmon Muffins are the perfect treat for a cozy fall day. They are filled with warm fall spices, persimmon puree, plump juicy cranberries and toasted pecans. Despite the unfortunate experience last fall, I can honestly tell you I am looking forward to persimmon season so I can make these muffins over and over again all autumn long!
Have you tried persimmons? If so, what is your favorite recipe to make with them? Please share in the comments below!
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 2-4 ripe Hachiya or Fuyu persimmons
- 1-2 tablespoons water
- 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper cupcake liners or generously spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Place pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F for 8 minutes or until pecans are fragrant and toasted. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, peel and dice persimmons. Place persimmons in a blender or food processor with 1-2 tablespoons of water and puree until smooth. Set aside.
- In a large bowl stir together both flours, sugar baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together yogurt, 1/2 cup persimmon puree, honey, oil, vanilla extract and eggs; whisking until well combined.
- Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients, stirring just until combined.
- Fold cranberries and half of the toasted pecans into the muffin batter. Spoon muffin batter into greased/lined muffin cups. Sprinkle the tops of the muffin batter with the remaining toasted pecans.
- Bake muffins at 375 degrees F for 16-18 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool muffins in pan for 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.