Persimmons remind me of my grandma. One of my favorite memories of her entails going for lots of walks, just her and I. One favorite destination was our next-door neighbor’s orchard. With permission of course, we picked whatever we desired and Grandma would and bake with our bounty.
We had to reach our destination by walking way back to the rear of our property and around and through the gate in their fence. It was only a few acres away but it felt like miles to this little kid. There were all kinds of fruit trees within and I used to think it was like the Garden of Eden! Instead of a snake though there was another creature we had to be on the lookout for. The neighbor had a bull that had free rein throughout that orchard and before we set foot through the fence we took a long gander around to make sure Mr. Bull was somewhere else that day.
Within the orchard was a beautiful persimmon tree. In the autumn the leaves would fall away leaving the shiny globes hanging there from its bare branches bright orange-red against the sky. When the persimmons ripened, Grandma usually made persimmon cookies using the fruit from next door plus walnuts from our own tree.
Today I made banana persimmon muffins. I had one Hachiya persimmon and two very ripe bananas I needed to use up. Hachiya persimmons are rather heart-shaped with a point at the bottom and need to be fully ripened before eating or using in baked goods. Try eating one before it’s ready and you’ll most likely regret it. The tannins in the unripened fruit give it an astringent quality that isn’t too tasty! The primary flavor of these banana persimmon muffins is of the rich, ripe bananas but don’t be fooled. The persimmon is in there quietly and tastefully increasing your consumption of fiber, Vitamins C and A, beta-carotene, and iron!
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