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Seasonal persimmon scones, two ways

Persimmon chunks add seasonal sweetness to two varieties of scones. The ones topped with almonds are vegan. (Photos: Kathy Morrison)

Recipe: Classic recipe has a twist; non-dairy version is also vegan

Breakfast baking is my favorite way to use fruit in season. November brings gorgeous orange persimmons to market, so I wanted to give the crisp variety, the squat Fuyus, a try in a scone recipe. (The heart-shaped Hachiya persimmons must be mushy-ripe to use in baking.)

So I went looking for recipes that were well-spiced, at least somewhat healthy (for a scone) and featured the fruit nicely. I found two versions that were close enough to each other that I suspect they were adapted from the same original recipe. The major difference: One version is vegan/non-dairy and made with whole-wheat and almond flour. But the more-classic recipe, using butter, also has a twist: A generous portion of ricotta cheese. (That one came from the Electrolux website; I had no idea they offered recipes!)

This persimmon didn't have any seeds, but some do.
When choosing persimmons for this recipe, go for ones that still have some firmness rather than being soft-ripe. They'll be easier to chop and mix. Also watch out for the occasional seed in the middle when coring them -- of 4 persimmons I used, 2 had seeds.

Both recipes bake up nicely; I tried them side by side so they'd have the same baking sheet and oven temperature. The thicker classic version actually baked faster and made an excellent breakfast bread; it would take well to being split and spread with butter or jam.

The vegan scone had a texture closer to muffins than flaky scones -- I'd recommend not splitting it -- and was also very good. Cardamom is the only spice in this one, but it could take more spices if that's your preference.

Both are just lightly sweet; if you like sweeter scones, add a glaze or sweet topping of your choice.

Scones in progress, with the classic on the left and vegan on the right.
Whole-wheat persimmon ricotta scones
Adapted slightly from
Makes 8

Ingredients :

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup granulated cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, well-chilled
1 cup cored and chopped Fuyu persimmons (2 of average size)
3/4 cup low fat or whole milk ricotta cheese
1/3 cup half-and-half, plus extra for brushing on top of scones
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

The disk of dough is ready to be cut into wedges.
Instructions :
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix the flours, baking powder, sugar, salt and spices together in a large bowl. Cut the butter into 1/4-inch pieces and add the chunks to the flour mixture, using a pastry blender or two knives to break up the pieces until they are the size of small peas. Stir in the persimmons until well-distributed.

Stir in the ricotta, half-and-half and vanilla, forming a rough dough. Turn the dough, including any dry bits from the bottom of the bowl, onto a flour-covered surface, and knead the dough gently with your hands about 3 or 4 times, until it holds together. Push the dough into a ball, then flatten it into a disk about 1-inch thick.

Use a knife or dough scraper to cut the disk into 8 wedges. Transfer the wedges to the prepared pan and brush them lightly with more half-and-half.

Bake the scones 17-20 minutes until lightly golden. Cool on rack.

Vegan persimmon almond scones
Choose firmer Fuyu persimmons. It'll make the chopping easier.
Adapted slightly from
Makes 8


1-1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 natural granulated cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons coconut oil, cold (this time of year it's usually solid, but chill briefly if not)
3/4 cup coconut milk (I used the beverage, not the canned variety), plus a bit more for brushing
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup cored and chopped Fuyu persimmons (2 of average size)

Sliced almonds for topping, optional
Turbinado sugar, for topping, optional


Both varieties of scone, ready to be baked together.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix the flours, sugar, cardamom, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Cut in the solid coconut oil, using a pastry blender or two knives to break up the pieces until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Stir in the persimmons until well-distributed, and add the coconut milk and almond extract. This makes a wetter dough than the classic version above and won't require much blending. Turn the dough gently onto a pastry-flour-covered surface, and pat it into a disk about 1 inch thick.

Use a knife or dough scraper to cut the disk into 8 wedges. Carefully transfer the wedges to the prepared pan and brush them lightly with more coconut milk. Sprinkle on the sliced almonds and turbinado sugar, if using

Bake the scones 22-25 minutes until golden. Cool on rack.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 19:

Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to fight blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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