I was walking through the grocery store and I overheard a man and his son discussing something in the produce section. "What is THAT?" "It looks like some kind of tomato." "Maybe it's just an unripe tomato or... something..."
I didn't tell them, but they are missing out on one of the great fruits of fall- the persimmon.
Persimmons are a little bit tricky. I've heard people say, "They dry out your mouth and taste awful." That's only if you eat them unripe. Unripe persimmons are full of tannins that make them astringent and bitter tasting. The variety sold in the Walmart in my town is Hachiya, which is particularly astringent until ripe, but is more sweet when it is ready to eat than some other varieties. Make sure you know which variety you have and that it is ripe before trying this recipe. Wikipedia is a good resource.
*My Hachiya persimmons were not ripe until you can easily squish your fingers into the skin and the fruit is very soft. Other kinds, especially the pumpkin shaped ones are more crisp when ripe. If you're unsure, just cut a small slice out and try it. The flesh and skin is edible. You will easily be able to tell if it's ready. If it's not ripe you're going to want to spit it out because it's really gross. Have a trash can ready.
I decided to use my persimmons this year in some baking, and I came up with a muffin recipe that I really like. It makes 6 muffins.
1 ripe persimmon*
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon canola oil
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup all-purpose flour
Peel your persimmon and cut off the green top. Remove the soft core.
Mash or blend up the persimmon in your mixer. Add the egg, applesauce, oil, and sugar and mix. Add the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg and blend well. Then add the flour and stir until moist.
Spoon into a greased muffin tin. Grease it really well.
Bake at 350 F for 16 minutes.