I’ve never had much of an opinion on Persimmons. I’ve had firm persimmons that taste like cinnamon-tinged apples and squishy persimmons that taste like chalky papaya. That is until I was in Japan and had a belgian waffle with persimmon mascarpone creme and caramelized persimmon. The Japanese treasure persimmons as a cornerstone of fall cuisine, appearing in breakfast dishes, in drinks and even in meat sauces. When I returned to New York in the middle of October, I saw droves of persimmons in baskets outside grocery stores and at farmer’s markets, and they were cheap. I decided to educate myself on persimmon firmness and found that there are actually two types of Persimmons commonly found in the US: Fuyu and Hachiya. I learned that the source of my indifferent feelings towards persimmons was that I’d probably had an unripe Hachiya or an over ripe Fuyu. I decided to pick up two pounds of Fuyu persimmons to try my hand at using them in a dish. I should have looked for a recipe before I shopped since it turns out the softer Hachiya is better for baking. Alas, I decided to give my Fuyus a chance to shine in James Beard’s persimmon bread recipe. I based my recipe on one from David Leibovitz’ blog but changed a few things and increased the cooking time. The amount of nuts seemed a bit well….nuts, so I reduced that and took out the dried fruit aspect. I also used a mandolin to shave paper thin slices of persimmon to sit on top and made persimmon muffins since I don’t own two loaf pans.
Makes 1 loaf and 12 muffins
3½ cups sifted flour
1½ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2½ cups sugar
1 cup melted unsalted butter
4 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
2/3 cup Jack Daniels whiskey
2 cups persimmon puree (from about 4 Fuyu persimmons)
1 whole persimmon
1 1/2 cups walnuts
1. Butter 1 loaf pan and 1 muffin tin. Line the bottoms with a piece of parchment paper or dust with flour and tap out any excess.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Sift the first 5 dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
4. Make a well in the center then stir in the butter, eggs, liquor, persimmon puree then the nuts. Pour into muffin cups and loaf pan.
5. Using a mandoline, shave the whole persimmon into medallions and arrange in two neat rows on top of the loaf. Place one medallion on each muffin.
5. Bake for 1 hour and remove the muffin tin, cook for an additional 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
If you liked my persimmon bread why not try my persimmon ice cream?