Last weekend, while rummaging around in the freezer, I discovered some cranberries. While I can't be sure, it's possible these cranberries are from last fall. Is that terrible? I'm very inexperienced with freezing things. I do understand that freezing does not mean something is preserved forever. But how long is too long?
I gave them a not very discriminating once-over and determined them perfectly fine. I had two Fuyu persimmons to use and was interested in baking them into something for breakfast. My last experiment with persimmons was a tangy chutney, served alongside a simple pork roast. This time I thought it would be fun to do something sweet. Cranberry persimmon muffins seemed like just the ticket.
I have a few basic muffin recipes I use, and one is the Barefoot Contessa's cranberry harvest muffins. I make them with cranberries, blueberries, apples, anything I have on hand. I leave out the nuts and dried fruit because I don't like too much junk in muffins and like so many of the Contessa's recipes, I reduce the sugar. That lady has a raging sweet tooth!
First I peeled the diced the persimmons and tossed them with the cranberries. Don't they look like little jewels?
The recipe is pretty straightforward--sift the dry stuff, mix in the wet. The only funny thing about the recipe is that you mix in the sugar at the end. This leads to a crispy crust on the muffin, which I like; it's almost like the sugar doesn't get entirely absorbed into the muffin but instead creates a little sugary shell.
The method proved to be a slight problem with this batch; I'm not sure if it's because of the persimmons or because I overzealously filled the muffin tins, but somehow the muffins kind of overflowed and the sugar got melty. Thank goodness for non-stick pans!
Once I pried them from the tin, I made them pose for a portrait.
I think the orange and fuchsia are just stunning. Although it's hard to rival the beauty of summer fruits and vegetables, I'm starting to think that autumn produce gives the heirloom tomato a run for its money. I've been knocked out by the pears, apples, and persimmons I've been getting recently, alongside dark green kale, blood red beets, and golden butternut squash.
Once they cooled for about one minute (did I mention I'm not patient?), we pulled off the papers and split them open.