Persimmon-Banana Bread

2fuyusPersimmons are the star of the show this week with our "Fresh from the Ranch" delivery. We have the egg-shaped Hachiya that are incredibly tannic and astringent. These work well in pureed applications, so it's best to hold onto them until they look overripe and their flesh feels as soft as jelly. We're also growing squat, tomato-shaped Fuyus at the ranch that can be enjoyed right off the tree when they're crisp like a pear. persimmonbread-002 Here's a recipe I tweaked a bit to highlight both kinds of persimmons. It's inspired by "James Beard's Amazing Persimmon Bread" that I found on David Leibovitz' blog. Above the recipe, Leibovitz says, "the most charming thing about this Persimmon Bread recipe is that Beard gives bakers an inexact amount of an ingredient: sugar." In the spirit of improvisation (that's so very rare in the world of baking), I substituted the nuts and dried fruit for chopped Fuyus.And, I cut out about a cup of sugar. I ended up with a lovely, golden brown loaf with a nice, light airy crumb that reminds me of a fancy banana bread, bedazzled with deep orange flecks of Fuyu persimmon. Success.
Inspired by Beard on Bread by James Beard and adapted from David Leibovitz Persimmon Bread.
Two 9-inch Loaves 3½ cups sifted flour 1½ teaspoons salt 2 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1½ 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
1 cup Hachiya persimmon puree (from about 2 squishy-soft Hachiya persimmons)
1 cup banana puree (from 2 overripe bananas) 1 cup Fuyu persimmon, diced
  1. Butter 2 loaf pans. 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 and fruit puree.
  5. Add diced Fuyu persimmons and pour into prepared baking dishes.
  6. Bake 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Storage: Will keep for about a week, if well-wrapped, at room temperature. The Persimmon Breads take well to being frozen, too.