Friday, November 15, 2013

Persimmon Muffins

I was up at my Mom's this past weekend and it is becoming a tradition that every time I stay there, we have to make a trip to their grocery store. It is called Valley, and it has the most amazing produce section. Their produce section is about the same size as our entire grocery store here in Monticello. They carry all sorts of different fruits and vegetables that I have never even heard of. I could spend hours in there. It is all laid out so nicely too, and the prices are great to boot! If I had that store right down the road I'd have so many more cooking possibilities. For now, I'll just binge buy fruit and vegetables when I visit my Mom.

This past trip, they had a big pile of beautiful looking persimmons on display. I had never tried them before, so figured we should give them a shot since the price was right and they are clearly in season. Well bust my buffer they are delicious! (That is a Thomas reference, for those of you without a 2-year-old boy). The kids loved them and I had wished we bought 10 more. So I put it out there in the Facebook world that I was seeking out persimmons in central Illinois. Apparently Meijer has persimmons when they are in season, so I may be taking a trip there this weekend. The remarkable thing I learned though, is that there are wild persimmons, and they grow RIGHT HERE IN CENTRAL ILLINOIS!!

How did I not know this? When it comes to eating things wild, I consider myself a pretty experienced consumer. I eat wild game almost exclusively, pick gallons of wild berries every year, and am always the first to seek out blackberries, pecans...heck I even forage for dandelion greens for salads. I LOVE wild food. Yet these sweet little globs of goodness slipped by me. Well, they aren't hiding from me anymore. I know their secret, and it is one of my most exciting culinary discoveries this year.

These are what the little guys looked like when I got them. 

One of my good friends went out and actually picked me some wild persimmons the day I put that inquiry on Facebook. Talk about being thankful this month - I am so thankful for the amazing friends we have! They are very different from the kind you buy in the grocery store (which I believe are called Japanese persimmons). They are small and have an apricot-like seed in the middle. Also, you have to pick them when they are absolute mush. Not even pick them...you have to forage on the ground for them. They have to be so mushy they fall off the tree before they are any good for eating. Get one that isn't ripe and it is so bitter and awful. So, you have to fight off the raccoon and squirrels and get them right before they mush under your touch.

I purchased a food mill for this. I needed one anyway, so this was the perfect time to get one. I needed to get all the seeds out and anything else that might effect my final product.



I got about 3 cups of pulp. I couldn't decide what to do with it. Persimmon pudding seems to be a favorite way to use this fruit. I also saw a recipe for persimmon pie that I definitely want to do. However, I also read that it can be a substitute for bananas in any banana recipe. Bingo. Muffins. My good friend Brittany from Brittany's Pantry had just posted these banana but muffins and I was really in the mood for muffins.


I got my big helper and we went on making the muffins. I changed the recipe quite a bit...mostly because I didn't have half of the things I needed for Brittany's recipe. The substitutions all worked out really well though and my muffins came out great.


I used coconut oil which is solid right now, so we had to really mash it in. 
 I only used a cup of my persimmon mush for these, so the other 2 cups got frozen for that pie I was talking about earlier. I made the batter, and it filled 12 muffin cups perfectly. I used paper cup liners but you could also just grease the tin. I topped about half with extra brown sugar, because I can.

They looked so good I had to stop myself from eating 3 before bed!


Ah. Breakfast.


When I cracked open my muffins to slather on some butter....which is a requirement for muffins...I was surprised at the dark color on the inside. A little worried too. However, they tasted great, so that must just be what happens to persimmons when they bake.


It actually looks really neat


Right?


I added oats to these muffins in place of the nuts in the original recipe, because I didn't have any nuts. They are perfectly fine with the oats, but had I walnuts, I think they would be even better with that mild crunch. The persimmon flavor really came out though which I was pleased with.

Persimmon Muffins
adapted from Brittany's Pantry

1 cup persimmon pulp
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 T ground flax seed
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup chopped walnuts or oats
extra brown sugar for topping, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl combine the first 7 ingredients until everything is evenly incorporated. If using cold coconut oil, make sure to mash it up in there. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until barely combined, then add the nuts or oats, stirring until distributed. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or grease the cups. Divide the batter evenly into the 12 muffins wells.  They will be full, but not overflowing. Top with extra brown sugar if desired. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until puffed, golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then turn the muffins out onto a cooling rack.




2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I'm so glad to hear that! This is the first evidence of somebody actually trying one of my own recipes, so I'm thrilled!

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