Persimmon Spice Muffins with Cranberries

By • January 22, 2013 • 3 Comments



Author Notes: Delicious enough to feel like an indulgent treat, but virtuous enough to make a satisfying breakfast, these muffins deserve a spot in your winter baking repertoire. Lightly spiced and conservatively sweetened, the delicate floral and spicy flavors of the persimmon are showcased but not overpowered in this recipe. Oats, flax, and whole wheat flour lend a heartiness to the finished product that will keep you going throughout your morning. Cranberries add a bright and tart contrast to the mellow flavors of the persimmon and spice.

I only recently discovered persimmons earlier this winter (I don't know how I went so long!) and haven't been able to get enough of them since! A persimmon challenge was just the right excuse to stock up and start playing around with different ways to make use of this fruit. Here I used several ripe Fuyu persimmons as that was what was available, but I suspect that you would have just as much (if not more) success with the Hachiya variety as well - just make sure that it is fully ripe!

There are quite a few ingredients in this recipe - but fear not if you don't have everything on hand, this recipe is quite flexible. Yogurt can stand in for buttermilk, the ratio of white to whole wheat flour can be adjusted, spices can be tweaked, and another berry could be used in place of cranberries. I can also see the addition of nuts such as pecans working brilliantly in this recipe. Share your own variations in the comments!
kangarhubarb

Makes 12 large or 18 medium sized muffins

  • 6 tablespoons butter, browned and cooled
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup persimmon puree (see headnote)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup ground flax meal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinches cardamom
  • pinches ground black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F and butter or line a 12 cup muffin pan (optional: this makes for larger muffins. If you prefer smaller to medium sized muffins butter or line an additional 6 muffin cups).
  2. To brown the butter, melt in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and continue to cook, stirring constantly, as butter foams up and begins to turn a deep amber. Butter will become very fragrant. Remove from heat and pour into a medium mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer to cool.
  3. While the butter is cooling, puree the flesh of 2-3 very ripe persimmons and measure out 1 cup of puree (see headnote for persimmon varieties).
  4. Combine all dry ingredients (all purpose flour through black pepper) in a medium bowl and set aside.
  5. Once browned butter is cooled, add brown sugar and beat to combine. Add egg, beating again to combine. Add vanilla extract, buttermilk, and persimmon puree, mixing to incorporate.
  6. Add dry ingredients in 2-3 additions, mixing just to combine and no further. Stir in cranberries.
  7. Divide batter between 12-18 muffin cups, depending on size preferences.
  8. Bake at 400 F for approximately 25 - 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Rotate pan halfway through baking time. Check muffins at 20 minutes if smaller muffin size was chosen.
  9. Allow to cool slightly in pan before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
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9 months ago Gina Eggers

This recipe leaves out the vanilla as an ingredient. It also has too long of a bake time. In 25 min they were burned. It's not my oven, I have a Wolf that works great. 2 persimmons gave me 3/4 cup so I filled up the one cup measure with 1/4 cup applesauce. Yet they were quite bitter. I was very disappointed in this recipe.

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9 months ago kangarhubarb

Hi Gina,
I'm so sorry that the recipe didn't work for you! The vanilla is meant to be 2 tsp. As for the other problems you encountered, I'm not quite sure what would have gone wrong as the recipe has worked out well for me. Is it possible that your persimmons weren't ripe yet (particularly if they were the Hachiya variety)? That is the only thing that I can think of to explain why they would be bitter (and possibly also why they would have burned more easily as there wouldn't have been as much liquid from the fruit.)

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9 months ago Gina Eggers

I guessed 1 tsp of vanilla, but that shouldn't have made a big difference in taste or texture. The permissions were mushy, and could not be peeled, so I scraped the flesh from the skin. The 1/4 applesauce replacement should have made them sweeter. It was homemade applesauce and very sweet. I couldn't imagine if I'd used a full cup of persimmons. As for burning, it was my fault for not checking before the 25 min timer went off. I set the timer for the least amount of time suggested by you, but testers and users ovens don't always function equally. I teach cooking classes and suggest to users a shorter time than my oven because many ovens have hot spots. I'd suggest you lower the time to 20-25 min or lower the temp to 375 degrees, which is more than sufficient doe muffins. This was the first time I've used persimmons in any capacity, so in all fairness I was not familiar with their taste. I appreciate your reply. It expands my culinary experience, and that is always good, failures included.