Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Persimmon Bread: James Beard, David Lebovitz, and Me

Wow, talk about "which of these is not like the others".

One is a famed chef who wrote the recipe, the other is a famed chef who made the recipe, and I am but a humble home cook upon whose mother unloaded a bagful of persimmons. One catch: I can't stand persimmons. However, my parents adore them and have a tree in their backyard. They were leaving for a trip and hated to see them go bad, so they asked me to give them away. My friend took some and I'm shipping the rest to my sister-in-law. That left me with four really ripe and nearly bursting Fuyu persimmons.

Unlike the Hachiya variety, the Fuyus are eaten when they're crunchy. These were so ripe, they felt more like a ripe Hachiya, but I didn't want to throw them away. Hence, my attempt at persimmon bread.

The recipe from David Lebovitz's website calls for Hachiyas, which are sweeter, but my overripe Fuyus worked well. My original intention was to halve the recipe, but due to a major brain fart, I didn't halve the butter or eggs. The result is, instead of absolute disaster, a fabulously moist bread with a great crumb.

Persimmon Bread
(Adapted from David Lebovitz, who adapted it from James Beard)

1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup melted unsalted butter and cooled to room temperature
4 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1/3 cup dark rum
1 cup persimmon puree (from about 2 overripe Fuyu persimmons)
1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest
1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 cup dried cranberries

Butter one 9-inch loaf pan. Line the bottoms with a piece of parchment paper or dust with flour and tap out any excess.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Sift the first 5 dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center then stir in the butter, eggs, liquor, and persimmon puree. After stirring well, add the nuts and raisins and gently incorporate into the batter.

Bake 75 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

3 bites:

kirbie said...

Looks delicious! just got a bag of persimmons from my parent's backyard. I plan on baking up a bunch of recipes, and I'll definitely have to try this one out!

Jennywenny said...

I'm the opposite, I love them! I usually eat them all before I have a chance to bake with them! I plan on getting a tree once we've worked out how to terrace the back part of our garden. I do have a bagful in the fridge though, so this recipe will be very handy. Thanks!

Carolyn said...

I've honestly never had a persimmon. The bread looks good...did you, the persimmon-hater, like it?

3 bites