Our household has an obsession with persimmons. Because of the limited, seasonable nature of this fruit (typically November through February), we go a bit crazy at the local farmer’s market this time of year. In February, we found flats of 24 very ripe Hachiya persimmons for $10/flat. These usually go for $2+ per fruit here, but once they ripen past that water balloon texture, they start going bad fast, and hence the discount.
The soft, jelly-like pulp of a ripe Hachiya lends itself nicely to quick bread. I modified James Beard’s persimmon bread recipe via David Lebovitz’s blog. The secret to this recipe is the whiskey. It adds such a nice dimension and compliments the persimmon flavor beautifully. I added buttermilk, reduced the sugar, and added more persimmon pulp (as we had so much anyway!). Buttermilk I’ve found to have a noticeably positive impact on the texture of quick bread. The resulting persimmon bread is so incredibly moist and loaded full of hearty nuts and fruit.
Next season, I plan to add chopped Fuyu persimmon (a persimmon you eat firm like an apple) for some texture contrast. Dried persimmons would also work great instead of the dried apricots. Ah November can’t come fast enough!
Persimmon Whiskey Bread
Adapted from James Beard’s recipe in Beard on Bread
- 1 3/4 cup flour
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup buttermilk (can substitute with more butter or oil)
- 1/4 cup melted, unsalted butter or vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup whiskey
- 1 1/4 cup Hachiya persimmon puree (from about 3 extra ripe medium fruit)
- 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- 3/4 cup chopped dried apricots
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar.
In a medium bowl, whisk buttermilk, melted butter or oil, eggs, and whiskey. Mix in the persimmon puree.
Add wet to dry ingredients, and stir until just combined. Then stir in the chopped nuts and fruit.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Bread stays quite fresh for 2-3 days if kept wrapped at room temperature, after that it gets noticeably drier.