Spiced Persimmon Muffins

by HM

persimmons

Lightly sweet, with almonds, cinnamon, and a splash of rum. Perfect for brunch or a lazy Sunday breakfast

Spiced Persimmon Muffins

My father used to have a Fuyu persimmon tree in his backyard. I remember one year in particular, he harvested roughly one hundred pounds of persimmons off that tree. They were everywhere! In baskets on counters, covered in containers on shelves, perched on plates, tucked away in cardboard boxes…all with harvest dates scrawled on them in various stages of ripening. He had a stack of recipes next to the stove, some printed, others neatly clipped from magazines, with plans for the ultimate fate of all those persimmons.

At the time, I was more enamored with the stunning, rich color of the fruit and it’s pulp than I was with the fruit itself. Over the years, though, I have grown to love these tiny, sweet treasures. They are the perfect foil warm spices, and a welcome bright spot when the cold and dreary winters have just begun to wear on your very last nerve.

Fuyu persimmons are different from their Hachiya cousins in that you don’t have to let them ripen to complete softness before you eat them. This is a bonus for using them in salads and eating as a snack however, for baking, I like to let mine ripen until very soft. I simply pull off the hard calyx and scoop the soft flesh from the shell with a spoon. The soft, ripe pulp is perfect for these persimmon muffins.

Spiced Persimmon Muffins

Note: I used paper baking molds for this recipe. They are taller than standard muffin cups and so will yield fewer and take 5-10 minutes longer to bake.

Spiced Persimmon Muffins

1 cup flour

1 cup packed light-brown sugar

3/4 cup almond flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt (pref. Diamond Crystal)

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

1 cup persimmon purée, from about 7 Fuyu persimmons

2 large eggs, beaten

3 tablespoons spiced rum

1 teaspoon vanilla

finely grated zest of one orange

Heat oven to 350°. Line standard muffin pans with liners or, alternatively, arrange 10 free-standing paper baking molds on a rimmed baking sheet.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in butter and purée, then add eggs and stir until completely incorporated. Fold in rum, vanilla, and orange zest. Fill liners 2/3 full and bake, rotating halfway through, until a tester comes clean when inserted in the center, 20-25 minutes. Transfer muffins to a wire rack and cool completely.

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