Traditional spiced muffins suddenly seem stylish when made with seasonal persimmons. There are two distinct types: Creamy-fleshed Hachiya is mashed to keep the muffins moist, while firmer Fuyu is diced for fruity bits with some bite.
3/4 cup chopped pecans, divided
5.6 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/4 cups)
4.75 ounces whole-wheat flour (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1/3 cup ripe mashed Hachiya persimmon
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup diced peeled Fuyu persimmon
1/2 cup dried cranberries
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 375°.
Place 1/2 cup pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 375° for 8 minutes or until pecans are fragrant and toasted. Cool.
Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours and next 6 ingredients (through cloves) in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Combine yogurt and next 6 ingredients (through eggs) in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add egg mixture to flour mixture, and stir just until combined. Fold in Fuyu persimmon, cranberries, and toasted pecans. Spoon batter into 18 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle tops with remaining 1/4 cup pecans.
Bake muffins at 375° for 18 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 5 minutes on a wire rack, and remove from pans.
I agree with one reviewer that these are labor intensive, but I prepared the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients (separately) the night before. All that was left to do in the morning was to combine the dry with the batter, then fold in the pecans, diced persimmon and cranberries, and bake. My guests and I loved them and I ended up sharing the recipe. I used Fuyu persimmons exclusively, and I replaced the oil with additional pureed persimmon to lighten the recipe. I used 2 permissons mashed and most of 1 persimmon, diced; and I used Craisins (sweetened dried cranberries) instead of unsweetened because that's what I had in the pantry.
Would have given these 5 stars, but they are rather labor-intensive, so I only gave them 4. However, they are delicious - moist with a great texture. Love the chunks of cranberry, nut, and persimmon, and the combination of spices is just right. Perfect with a morning coffee! Will make again for sure.
I made a few substitutions/shortcuts, and did not find this labor intensive, as others suggested. I thought it tasted great.
Shortcuts/substitutions: I didn't have pecans, so used walnuts, crushing them before roasting, and just stirring the entire amount into the batter. I only had fuyu persimmons, and they were at maximum ripeness...almost liquid, so just stirred their contents into the batter. I used 1 tsp. powdered ginger rather than fresh ginger. I baked these 34 minutes, and the insides were still moister than desired, but I had poured the batter into only 12 muffin cups, which I don't recommend. They would bake better in the 18 muffins, as directed. Delicious, and aromatic, though! I would make them again.
These are a bit labor intensive but the flavor is so wonderful they are worth it! I have made this recipe three times and will make again. It's a great way to use up persimmons that everyone seems to want to give away (bring them on!) YUM!!