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Persimmon Bread Recipe & Facts About Persimmons
A little background
My family moved from Southern California to Fresno, California in the mid-1990's. Fresno is the hub of the Central Valley of California, where many of our nation's fruits and vegetables are grown. My family owns and manages a persimmon orchard and my parents live on the main farm property to this day. In fact, it's where I got married and had a big traditional Cambodian wedding. We grow, pack, and sell the fruit to wholesalers and some chain supermarkets. Harvest time is in the fall, usually October-December. I often have leftover fruit towards the end of the season, which is perfect for making persimmon nut bread during the holidays. Persimmon bread is similar to banana bread or gingerbread but with yummy bits of persimmon baked right in. I love making it, and I especially love eating it! I hope you get to try it sometime.
Persimmon Nut Bread Recipe
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup persimmon puree* (or 3/4 cup puree + 1/4 cup finely diced persimmon)
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (light or golden)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) softened butter
- 1 cup chopped nuts
- Sift the first 6 ingredients together in a small bowl (the dry mix).
- In a large bowl, mix together the persimmon, sugars, eggs and milk (the wet mix).
- Add the dry ingredients and softened butter to the wet mix. Mix until well blended.
- Stir in nuts. Spread in a well-greased loaf pan (9x5x3 inch). Optionally, sprinkle additional nuts on top of the batter in the pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean
Yields: About 10 thick slices. This bread freezes well.
*Persimmon puree can be made by food processing, blending, or mashing 2-3 medium-sized fresh ripe persimmons, any variety. When using the firm kind (fuyu), I like to dice one of the fruits and add that in with the pureed fruit. This adds texture and flavor to the bread. Alternatively, you can use the cone-shaped kind (hachiya), which is already a soft, pulpy, almost liquid form by the time it's ripe enough to eat.
Note: The bread is not that sweet, and has a rich, cinnamon taste. If desired, you could top with fresh whipped cream or frosting to make it more like a dessert. Otherwise, it's good by itself, or warmed up and eaten while enjoying a cup of coffee. I hope you like it!
Two Main Varieties - Hachiya & Fuyu
How to Eat & Use Persimmons
Besides being a fresh, fat-free and full of fiber fruit, persimmons have great health properties that set them apart from other fruits. They're full of beta-carotene, folic acid, B-vitamins, vitamin C, antioxidants, essential minerals and phytonutrients. If steeped in hot water to drink as a tea, persimmons can help with diarrhea. However, if eaten in too high a quantity, persimmons can cause constipation and a condition called a "bezoar" which is an obstruction in your stomach. Don't be nervous though, as these cases are a medical oddity; one would have to eat pounds of unripened, unpeeled fruit, for many weeks, to achieve this condition! (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persimmon).
Do not make the mistake of eating the cone-shaped "hachiya" persimmons when they're still firm. They are full of tannins, and therefore, taste very astringent, chalky, and otherwise unpleasant when not yet ripe. When ripe, a hachiya persimmon is very soft, the color is a reddish orange and the skin should be peeled or scored halfway, and the fruit should be scooped out and eaten with a spoon. If eaten when properly ripe, the flesh is extremely sweet and juicy.
"Fuyu" persimmons, on the other hand, SHOULD be eaten when firm, like a good apple. Its shape is like a squat tomato but it looks and feels more like a miniature orange pumpkin with smooth skin. Color can range from yellow to orange but a ripe fuyu persimmon is usually a bright orange color (no longer yellow or green). It tastes best when peeled and quartered or sliced, although the skin can be eaten if chosen. It should taste like a crunchy, sweet apple, with hints of cinnamon. In either case, the seeds are soft and can be eaten right along with the fruit part.
Other than baked goods like bread (above), pudding, cake, tarts, and cookies, persimmons can be used in salads, sauces, sorbets, chutneys, and jam, to give a few examples. Since they're available in the fall, how about using fresh diced persimmons in your homemade cranberry sauce to eat with turkey? Yummy. My family also likes to slice and dehydrate persimmons to make dried persimmon (pictured above), similar to dried apple, which is a naturally sweet snack that can be enjoyed year round. There is another kind of dried persimmon, which is dried whole and develops a white, powdery sugar coating. This kind is available seasonally and also frozen at Asian markets.
Have I changed your mind about persimmons?
Tell me what you think
I hope you get a chance to try my persimmon bread recipe or otherwise eat and enjoy persimmons. It may sound self-promoting, since my family grows and sells this fruit, but I think persimmons get a bad rap, and I'd rather people know the basic facts about them before passing judgment.
If you've tried this recipe, let me know what you think. I love it, but of course, everyone's taste is different. I appreciate your comments or tips!
If you have a persimmon recipe of your own...write a hub and I'll link it, or just let me know in the comments or email me and I may include it in this hub later. I will try to dig up more family photos of the orchard and maybe our packing warehouse, so check back here later. Definitely check back here in the fall when it's harvest time!