A Gluten Free Thanksgiving Treat
The increasingly rainy days, grey skies and short daylight hours make a great combination, if you’re in the mood for baking. Cravings for hearty soups, stews and chili come instinctively this time of year, and with it, fresh baked breads that sop up the warm juices from the bowl.
This weekend I put a spicy white bean and pumpkin chili in the crock-pot to simmer, and as the aroma filled the house, I couldn’t help but ponder a batch of cornbread. However, feeling a bit overloaded from the other baked goods I have been hastily plowing through (shortbread cookies, gingerbread cake, pumpkin pie…) I decided to try a little healthier, gluten-free version.
The four over-ripe persimmons sitting on the counter top needed to be used– their pureed pulp would bring natural sweetness and moisture to classic cornbread that is often dry and crumbly. Plus, the addition of fruits and fruit juices to recipes that use gluten free flour helps improve the texture and flavor of the finished product. Gluten free persimmon cornbread muffins? Sounded like a great idea to me!
Persimmons get less attention than they deserve and can only be found during the few fall months. They are traditionally baked into a creamy pudding dessert, but are great when used fresh in salads or cooked into baked goods. They are a great source of fiber, vitamin C, beta carotene, potassium, magnesium and calcium.
These muffins would make a great addition to the Thanksgiving table, or with turkey chili made with leftovers from the feast. They have a hint of spice to them from the fresh ginger and a mellow and naturally sweet flavor that would be great for breakfast or brunch too!
Adapted from original found at epicurious.com
- 1 cup gluten free baking flour (I prefer King Arthur or Pamela's gluten free flour mixes)
- 1 cup coarse cornmeal (make sure it is processed in a gluten free facility)
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 ½ cup persimmon pulp, pureed until smooth
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
- 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 1/3 cup water
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12 muffin cups and place liners in each. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, cornmeal and salt. In a separate small bowl, whisk together persimmon pulp and baking soda until it begins to thicken. Add the sugar, oil, eggs, spices, and fresh ginger to the persimmon mixture and whisk to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and use a large spoon or spatula to fold together - don’t over-mix or the bread will be tough and chewy. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling to just 1/4 inch below the rim. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a knife inserted in the bread comes out clean. Cool for at least 15 minutes before tipping it out of the pan. Serve warm with good quality butter or marmalade for breakfast or a big bowl of chili for a hearty dinner.
- Give thanks, be thankful and enjoy the good food. Happy Thanksgiving!