Persimmons are in season in the late fall through early winter, and I don’t think they get enough appreciation. There’s not a lot of seasonal fruits in the northern hemisphere at this time of year, but these orange beauties are here to add some variety to your winter fruit basket!
Persimmons really didn’t come into my awareness until a few years ago, when I was gifted some from a coworker who had a large tree in her yard (planted by previous owners). I experimented with a few baked goods and a persimmon butter, all of which were lovely. These intensely orange little fruits were a surprising treat! They’re very sweet when ripe, with a slight earthy spice to them that makes them wonderful in baked goods like these muffins.
At the market, select persimmons that are firm and even in color, then let them sit on your counter for a few days to ripen. Underripe persimmons can be very astringent - not a pleasant experience! But once persimmons become soft, almost like you think they’re going bad they’re so soft, that’s when they’re ripe and ready, and sweet. Another helpful sign is that the leaves on top will be dry and brittle.
Persimmons are rich in a variety of nutrients, including vitamins A and C, as minerals such as potassium and copper. Next time you see persimmons at the market or store, give them a try! Common varieties include Hachiya (which are slightly elongated) and Fuyu (which are short and squat, like those pictured in this recipe). Aside from baked goods, persimmons are also delicious in salads, alongside roasted vegetables, or with cheese and crackers. Have fun trying something new!
Original publication date: January 11, 2021
Persimmons are very sweet when ripe, with a slight earthy spice to them that makes them wonderful in baked goods like these muffins.
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