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Gluten Free-Vegan Baking with Persimmons

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I was able to procure a case of thirty fuyu persimmons from Bountiful Baskets last week.  In all the hubbub of getting the boys out the door, I had no time to use any of them.  With all the cooking done for Thursday and Friday, Snuggle Bunny and I made time to bake together.  We don’t often get the chance to do that.  Buster proclaims a desire to be a chef one day and that kind enthusiasm can sometimes cramp the style of mother-daughter cooking time.  Snuggle Bunny meticulously chopped all of the pecans for our baking today and did a great job measuring the ingredients.  I do think my little girl has grown up faster than I realized.  The results of our experimentation was worthy of sharing.

First, we removed the pulp of most of the persimmons from their skin with a spoon and pureed it in the blender.   This step is critical to the success of these recipes because of the liquid released by this process.  In our first batch of cookies, we mashed the pulp with a fork then had to add water to make the dough come together, but the results of were still off in some way.  The second try with pureed persimmons worked perfectly.  I started with this recipe and made a few simple substitutions.

Persimmon Cookies

1/2 cup pureed persimmon, about 3 fuyu
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups GF all-purpose flour
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 Ener-G Egg Replacer egg (a real egg or a flax egg would work, too)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup palm oil shortening (don’t sub coconut oil or you will get a very thin crispy cookie, I tried)
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Dissolve baking soda in pureed persimmon and set aside.

Sift flour, spices and salt together in a small bowl.

In a larger bowl, cream together butter or margarine and sugar until fluffy, beat in egg and persimmon.

Stir in dry ingredients. Fold in nuts and raisins.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

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Persimmon Cookies and Muffins

Last year I tried this persimmon bread recipe.  It had a good flavor, but I had trouble getting it to cook throughout in the time allotted.  It was likely because sometimes using egg replacer compromises the integrity of a recipe.  This year I wanted to find a good vegan recipe that could stand the test of time.  One that we could give as gifts or take to church and share.  After a little internet research, I had a brainstorm.  Bananas are a good egg replacement option.  What if I simply used my favorite banana muffin recipe (I make it with nuts instead of chocolate chips) and replaced some of the banana with persimmon puree?  The results were amazing!

As a side note, the same source has one of my favorite sandwich bread recipes too.  It also uses teff flour.  Teff is the smallest grain in the world.  It is traditionally used in an Ethiopian flat bread called injera.   Teff comes in brown and ivory colors, either can be used in these recipes.  I only have brown teff right now, but this recipe might be nicer with ivory teff.  I love the nutty flavor and lovely texture it brings to my baked goods.

Banana-Persimmon Muffins
Yeilds 
16-18 muffins

1 ½ cups sorghum flour
1 cup teff flour
½ cup tapioca flour
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons guar gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cups mashed ripe bananas, about 2 large
1 cup pureed persimmon, about 5-6 fuyu
1 cup water (or milk of your choice)
¼ cup safflower oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup raisins (your choice of color) or chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Lightly oil 2 muffin pans.

In a large bowl whisk the dry ingredients together.

Place the bananas into a 4-cup glass measuring cup and mash with a fork; it should equal approximately 1 cup.  Pour in one cup of persimmon puree.  Add the water (or milk) to the fruit and whisk it together with the oil and vanilla.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently mix together being careful not to over mix.  Gently fold in the dried fruit and nuts.

Spoon batter into oiled pans, gently rounding the tops with the back of a spoon into a loaf shape (I actually just use one of those large cookie scoops [a heaping 1/4 cup].  Then, the rounding is done without any extra effort.).

Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Loosen sides with a knife, as needed, and gently take out of pans and place onto a wire rack to cool.

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One response »

  1. Pingback: Pan Seared Pineapple | Seasonally Vegan

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