Serves: Makes 12 muffins
- Nonstick cooking spray, for preparing the muffin tin
- 1 fully ripe, soft Hachiya persimmon
- 1 cup sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sifted cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup canola oil
- 1⅓ cups coarsely chopped toasted walnuts or pecans
- About 1 tablespoon sparkling sugar (coarse decorating sugar)
Procedures:These tender muffins perfume the kitchen with the scent of cinnamon as they bake. Prepare them for a weekend breakfast (you can mix the dry ingredients the night before), or put them in the freezer and reheat one a day at a midmorning coffee break.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat a 12-cup standard muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
- Remove the persimmon's cap, then halve the fruit and remove any visible black seeds. (Some Hachiyas have none.) Put the persimmon halves in a food processor, skin and all, and puree until smooth. Measure out ½ cup puree and set aside.
- Sift together the all-purpose flour and cake flour into a bowl, then resift with the baking powder, cinnamon, and baking soda. Stir in the salt.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, granulated sugar, oil, and ½ cup persimmon puree. Stir in 1 cup of the walnuts.
- Add the dry ingredients to the persimmon mixture and stir with a rubber spatula just until blended; do not overmix. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups; it will almost fill the cups. Top each muffin with about ¼ teaspoon sparkling sugar and with the remaining ⅓ cup walnuts, divided evenly.
- Bake until the muffins are golden brown and firm to the touch, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool in the tin on a rack for 5 minutes, then gently loosen the muffins with a knife and transfer them to a rack to cool.