Persimmon Bread

[Printable Recipe]

I’m never sure what to do with persimmons when they’re really mushy. I used them in sorbet, and that went well, but it’s been so cold that I haven’t been in the sorbet mood lately. I’ve put them in waffles, but I wasn’t as pleased as I was with the fig waffles experiment, as the persimmon flavor didn’t really come through as much as I had hoped. I scoured the web for some new ideas, and found a recipe for persimmon bread on David Lebovitz’s blog. His recipes have always worked out well, and since it was originally from James Beard, I had high hopes.

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Besides, it called for a ton of whiskey. What could be bad!?

Let me tell you that I loved this bread. The spicy notes of the whiskey came through really nicely, and complemented the sweet persimmon so well. No one was able to pinpoint what those spicy notes exactly were though, so I had fun keeping people guessing. This was as easy to make as any other quickbread, but flavor-wise, it was so different (in a good way!) than the typical pumpkin or banana bread that I’ll be keeping this in my rotation for a while (as long as persimmons are in season, that is!).

Since I only had 2 persimmons, I halved the original recipe to make just 1 loaf.

Adapted from James Beard, via David Lebovitz

Ingredients:

  • 1-3/4 c. all-purpose flour, sifted, plus extra for greasing the pan
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature, plus extra for greasing the pan
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup Cognac, bourbon or whiskey (I used Jack Daniels, since we already had some in the house.)
  • 1 c. persimmon puree (from about 2 squishy-soft Hachiya persimmons. I run the persimmon chunks through the food mill to preserve the consistency, but I’m sure a blender would be okay too.)
  • 2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Butter a loaf pan, then dust with flour. Tap out the excess.
  • Sift the flour, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, granulated sugar and brown sugar together into a mixing bowl.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, then stir in the butter, eggs, liquor, and persimmon puree. When the dry ingredients are incorporated, fold in the nuts.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for ~1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out cleanly.

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