I never thought I'd be making persimmon bread, but we have a Japanese persimmon tree and the fruit we've been watching for the past several months is finally ripe. We weren't sure what to expect because we'd never tried persimmons, but that's changed. Turns out my family really likes the persimmons, which I think are
They have soft pulp that doesn't need to be pureed. You just cut the persimmon and scoop it out. If you feel like pureeing it you can, but so far I like having little chunks of persimmon in the bread.
Hachiya persimmons (see the update) are not at all bitter when ripe. I've read they can be very drying if you eat them before they are ripe, but when ripe the pulp is sweet and kind of cinnamon-y -- at least according to my family and some friends. I'm not really fond of the flavor or texture, but I love the persimmons baked into this bread.
This is the recipe I've been using to make three 3x6 inch loaves.
I haven't yet tested the recipe as a larger loaf, but the bread is rich and dense and works beautifully in the smaller loaves. Plus it's easier to share that way! It's a lot like pumpkin bread, but the baking soda and the persimmon give it a long lasting finish. I have made it twice now, one batch without and one batch with bourbon soaked golden raisins. I've also made with walnuts.
We've really enjoyed making these mini loaves. For the next round, I plan on trying the James Beard version from David Lebovitz.
Update: Thanks to Raylene, I have learned these are actually Fuyu! We thought they were Hachiya because they did not taste good while firm, but I think the firm ones we tried just weren't ready. I put them in bags to ripen. A few became soft, but a couple were still very firm. I cut one open and the inside was like an apple and tasted good. So I'm pretty sure these are Fuyu. Meanwhile, the others are now very soft and pulpy and ready for more recipes!
Accidental Persimmon Bread Biscotti
I still like this persimmon loaf the best, but at this point it's the only persimmon loaf I've tried :). A few days ago I made a batch and accidentally left out the baking soda. The result was loaves that were shorter, not as brown and very dense. They tasted great, but I wasn't about to give them away as gifts so a sliced them up, dried them out at 250 degrees F. and turned them into biscotti. It was so good I gave it as gifts! So if Persimmon Biscotti appeals to you, check out the notes!
Persimmon Bread with Pecans and Bourbon Raisins
- 1 ¼ cups firmly packed brown sugar (230 grams)
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup light olive oil
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup persimmon pulp 200 grams
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour 210 grams
- ¾ cup chopped pecans toasted
- ¼ cup golden raisins that have been soaked overnight in bourbon optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 6x3 inch loaf pans. Line with strips of parchment paper and grease again. If you prefer, you can just spray with flour-added baking spray.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the brown sugar and eggs until smooth. Add the oil and stir until smooth, then stir in the cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.
- Mix in persimmon pulp, followed by the baking soda, making sure there are no lumps in the baking soda and that it is evenly dispersed. Add the flour and stir until blended, then stir in the nuts. If using raisins soaked in bourbon, add them too.
- Divide the batter among the pans filling about ⅔ full. Set pans on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 350 for about an hour (start checking at 50 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean or with moist crumbs.