Despite the provocative title, I have no idea if persimmons are a widely neglected fruit or if they are, in fact, quite common. I don’t know many people who eat them, but then I don’t know many people. Recently, Wishful Whisking and The Novice Gardner mentioned persimmons on their respective blogs. I was instantly reminded that I am long overdue to bake some persimmon bread. (Plus, The Novice Gardener promised me instructions on how to make pinecones glow with blue flames, in exchange for my recipe, and that sounds like an offer I can’t refuse.)
My persimmon supplier (that is, my mother) has one tree that fruits abundantly late in the summer/early fall and, outside of that, I do not buy the fruit. The variety she grows is called Fuyu. This year, she shipped a 20-pound box in the mail because she feared they would over ripen before I made it to the Shire. I eat them just like I would any fruit, preferably when they are still crunchy and only slightly sweet. The problem is, Mom seems to think 10% of my diet is persimmon. Who could possibly eat 20 pounds of fruit before it goes bad? When they start going towards the overripe end of the spectrum, I no longer like them plain. Something about the squishiness puts me off. Last year, because I felt so guilty about letting them go to waste, I started saving the pulp. It lasts a couple weeks in the refrigerator and does well frozen too. But what to do with all that pulp?
Then it hit me – eureka! I Googled “persimmon bread” and discovered that lots of people already had this brilliant idea long before me. Only slightly deflated, I do what I always do – take what I want from a couple similar recipes, then add one or two ingredients of my own. The result is a very moist, flavorful, sweet loaf that fills you with the warmth of the holidays. DP declares that he wants a blanket made of persimmon bread. The last time I made this loaf, I offered a piece of my very last slice to someone who snatched most of it out of my hand, leaving me with crumbs. I mean, who does that?
2 eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar (I use a little less)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg (optional)
1 cup persimmon pulp
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup raisins (You could also add currants and semi-sweet chocolate chips.)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Oil a 9 x 4 inch loaf pan.
2. In a small bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, nuts, and raisins.
3. In a large bowl, blend eggs, sugar, and oil. Mix baking soda into persimmon pulp and add to sugar mixture.
4. Fold flour into sugar mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan.
5. Bake for 75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Most of this recipe comes from Allrecipes.com.