Persimmon Bread

persimmon.bread.2

I wish I had a warm piece of this bread sitting in my stomach as we speak. Sadly, this was a mid-January creation when, you know, persimmons were actually in season. Yes, I am just getting around to posting about it. Maybe by April I’ll have posted about my new favorite kale salad. (Hint: It’s from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook.)

My lack of posts is testimony to the chaos this year has thus far brought with it. I would indulge you with stories, but I feel like playing catch up is irrelevant at this point. Instead, I’ll share with you this: I had never had persimmon before this bread. Really, never. In fact, I don’t know that I had ever even heard of a persimmon until two winters ago when a friend’s mom Facebook messaged me. She’d gotten persimmons in her CSA box and was wondering if I had any genius recipes. Since this was my first encounter with even the term “persimmon”, I clearly had no recipes up my sleeve. What I did have was my computer and that meant I could search for ones. My search led me to a variety of different persimmon uses: in a salad, topping prosciutto, or baked into bread. That winter came and went without any persimmon experimentation falling upon my kitchen.  Then, this winter hit and everywhere I turned I saw persimmons. Obviously, I opted for the bread being the baked goods lover that I am. After a brief stint of chopping and stirring my apartment was filled with the sweet, floral scent of a James Beard worthy bread. It was gone in two days.

persimmon.bread.1

On a side note, I made it a goal of mine to hit 100 posts by the end of 2013. So far I’ve posted twice this year. Um, fail. I have 42 posts to go and approximately 41 weeks until the end of the year. A post a week…here I come!

Persimmon Bread

adapted from James Beard’s Beard on Beard via David Lebovitz

If it’s persimmon season, aka winter, you can stock up by peeling, pureeing, and then freezing your persimmons. In regards to the bread, using the higher amount of sugar will produce a moister and, of course, sweeter bread. The bread will keep for about a week, if well-wrapped, at room temperature. You can also wrap and freeze the bread.

makes two 9-inch Loaves

3½ cups sifted flour
1½ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 to 2½ cups sugar
1 cup melted unsalted butter and cooled to room temperature
4 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
2/3 cup Cognac, bourbon, or whiskey
2 cups persimmon puree (from about 4 squishy-soft Hachiya persimmons)
2 cups walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped
2 cups raisins, or diced dried fruits (such as apricots, cranberries, or dates)

Butter 2 loaf pans. Line the bottoms with a piece of parchment paper or dust with flour and tap out any excess.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift the first 5 dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center then stir in the butter, eggs, liquor, persimmon puree then the nuts and raisins.

Bake 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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