Breakfast / Muffins & Cupcakes

Blueberry Persimmon Muffins: A Baking Experiment

Okay. So remember the persimmons in the fridge that I thought were heirloom tomatoes? Yeah, well, ever since I realized what they were, I’ve been trying to think of ways to use one in baking. Sure, they taste delicious by themselves, or tossed into a simple arugula salad, but I wanted to find out how they’d taste in some sort of baked good.

For the record, I personally think the best way to enjoy Fuyu persimmons is by themselves, sliced. Or sprinkled with some cinnamon and honey over oatmeal. Or, as previously mentioned, in an arugula salad with a light lemon-olive oil vinaigrette. That being said, I was determined to get creative.

I also had some blueberries in the fridge that I needed to get rid of, so I figured I’d throw them in the mix, too. For those of you unfamiliar with Fuyu persimmons, they’re sort of like a spiced apple-melon thing. Typically, you don’t use them in baking (that’s usually reserved for Hachiya persimmons, which are sweeter). Still, there are recipes using Fuyu persimmons out there, so I figured it could be done.

For my muffin’s base, I used this recipe by Ina Garten. I have to admit, as much as I don’t particularly care for Ina (although she’s still miles better than Sandra Lee), she does have some great recipes that are nice to fall back on and build off of. Sometimes I find her baked goods to be way too sweet; this muffin recipe, however, is pretty balanced, and tasty. It’s a good one to keep in your recipe file.

I only wanted to use one of the persimmons, so I halved her recipe. I also made a few changes to make it a bit healthier (applesauce for butter, a bit less sugar, soy milk instead of whole milk). I only had white flour, otherwise I probably would have done a mix of white and whole-wheat.

I’m not gonna lie, these weren’t quite as delicious as I was hoping they’d be. Don’t get me wrong, the persimmon and blueberry was yummy, but the batter was kinda lackluster. Then again, it’s probably because I “healthified” them by using applesauce instead of butter. So if you aren’t trying to cut fat and calories, definitely use butter and regular milk, not soy milk. Still, these were good; they tasted more breakfast-y than dessert-y the way I made them. Adding some chopped nuts would have probably made them even better. Because I love spices, I didn’t find these to have quite enough spice; personally, I would add more cinnamon and ginger, but for the average person the amount of spice is probably spot-on.

They do get better after they’ve cooled a bit though, so be patient and don’t try to eat them straight out of the oven. Overall, the baking experiment was a relative success, and I got rid of my blueberries before they went bad (hooray!).

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Spiced Blueberry Persimmon Muffins – makes 9 large muffins
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 1/4  tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup + 2 tbsp light soy milk or skim milk (I used Silk Light Original)
1 extra large egg
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (I used Trader Joe’s Gravenstein applesauce)
about 3/4 cup Fuyu persimmon, sliced into very small pieces
about 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 tbsp granulated sugar
Optional: 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, chopped pecans, or oatmeal

*Note: If you prefer to use butter instead of applesauce, you will need 1 stick of unsalted butter, melted and cooled. Increase granulated sugar amount to 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp.

1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Line 9 cups in a muffin tin with paper liners.
In a large bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg and whisk together.

2. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add milk, eggs, and applesauce. Stir just enough to combine. Add persimmon pieces, blueberries, and both the brown and granulated sugar. Stir just enough to distribute ingredients throughout the batter.

3. Spoon batter into liners and fill to the top. Bake about 23-27 minutes, until browned on top. Insert a toothpick in the muffin center and make sure it comes out clean.

4. Remove muffins from the muffin tin as soon as possible; if you keep them in the tin, they will likely get soggy. Let cool on a wire rack for best results. Once completely cooled (don’t store them if they are still warm!) store muffins in the fridge or freezer to keep them fresh; keep them wrapped in plastic wrap, or stored in an airtight tupperware container.

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Serving suggestion: Warm up muffins in a toaster oven before serving; top with a honey drizzle and serve with Greek yogurt and fruit for breakfast. I also think all muffins taste better with peanut butter, so if I was in my own apartment I’d probably heat up a bit of Better’n Peanut Butter and drizzle it over a freshly toasted muffin for breakfast (oh my god).

Nutrition info listed is calculated based on the ingredients I used (Silk Light Original soy milk, applesauce instead of butter, no nuts).
NUTRITION INFO FOR 1 MUFFIN: approx. 155 calories, 1.2g fat, 161.2mg sodium, 104.2mg potassium, 26.3mg cholesterol, 34.1g carbs, 1.9g fiber, 14g sugar, 3.9g protein

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