Perhaps I’m jumping the gun a bit, but an undeniable chill has blown in, and now that it’s September, I can’t contain my excitement for fall any longer. There are just so many things to eat, every day of autumnal weather must be used to the fullest! Unfortunately, my enthusiasm is a bit premature, as it still isn’t quite cold enough to layer on the heavy winter blanket, a mistake I paid for at 4 am, waking up in a pool of my own sweat. Summer may still be hanging on with a loosening grip, but the kids are returning to school and the evenings are no longer quite so sweltering at least, so I’m fully prepared to embrace the incoming season. How better to get into a fall state of mind than bake something with sweet, warming spices?
Falling back on my favorite set of chai spices, a simple sort of muffin seemed to be in order. Perfect for a quick morning breakfast should you be one of those lucky students returning to an earlier schedule, each hearty little quick bread is both a sensible breakfast or snack. Spelt flour adds in a good dose of whole grains, hazelnuts provide a spot of protein, and these babies are only modestly sweetened. I happened to be lucky enough to find the persimmon pulp in my freezer, stored from last year’s bounty, but any other fruit pulp would work beautifully as well. To keep with the autumnal theme, I might suggest unsweetened apple sauce, pumpkin, butternut, or sweet potato puree.
So don’t wait any longer- Greet the incoming season now, and enjoy it with muffins!
Chai Latte Persimmon Muffins
1 Cup Persimmon Pulp (Approximately 2 Hachiya Persimmons), or Other Fruit Puree/Pulp
3 Tablespoons Canola Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1/3 Cup Dark Brown Sugar, Packed
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 1/2 Cups Spelt Flour
1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Chopped Hazelnuts
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Instant Coffee Powder
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
3/4 Teaspoon Ground Cardamom
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
6 Teaspoons Granulated Sugar, for Topping (Optional)
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and lightly grease 6 standard muffin tins.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the persimmon pulp, oil, vinegar, brown sugar, and vanilla until smooth and homogeneous. In a seperate bowl, combine the spelt and all purpose flour, hazelnuts, baking soda, coffee powder, spices, and salt, and mix thoroughly so that the ingredients are well distributed. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and stir just enough to bring the two together, being careful not to over do it and create gluten- A few errant lumps in the batter are just fine.
Evenly distribute the batter between your prepared muffin tins, and really mound it up in the center for each muffin. It may seem like a lot, but don’t be shy and really pile it on. This will get you nice, big, mushroom-y tops. Sprinkle each raw muffin with 1 teaspoon of sugar, if desired.
Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of each muffin comes out clean. Let rest for 5 minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Makes 6 Big Muffins