If my sister and I were produce instead of people, we’d be persimmons. Without a doubt… a couple of sibling persimmons- from the same tree but oooooooh so different. Let me explain. This will all make sense in a short bit.
My little sister and I are two and a half years apart. That means we were close enough to tear things up and figure out how to get ourselves out of it. You know, experiment, explore, break stuff and try not to get in trouble… life skills.
My sister, as an adorable, slick and sly child genius, would mush up and cry whenever trouble was on the horizon. I was not quite so skilled.
Maybe we’re about to get in trouble for knocking out the screen door that was just installed hours earlier… or we’re about to get a talking to for breaking the bathroom window with a soccer ball… or someone, who shall remain nameless, thought it would be a good idea to swing like Tarzan from the palm tree…
Here’s how the situation would play out: Lauren would run into the house, after one of our outdoor terror sessions , a big ball of red eyes and tears. She’d throw herself on the ground inconsolable, and thus… unpublishable. I would freeze and try to figure out a way to fix the broken thing before my parents could discover it. Not wise. Not wise at all. I was always the one left standing stiff with the broken object, eyes wide, wracking my brain for solutions. Thus… I always got in trouble. I’m not just saying that… Lauren, you totally know it’s true.
Any while we’re on the subject, please allow me this:
You know you were the one that ran straight into the new screen door. That was all you. I was watching The Cosby Show and minding my own business. You and your tears! I got in soooo much trouble for that! No, twenty years later, I’m still not over it. Well played sister. Very well played.
This isn’t over.
So… um… persimmons. Follow me.
I got a lovely couple of persimmons about two weeks ago. Two in particular reminded me of me and my darling sister. One mushed up and ripened right on cue. The other… well… hard as a rock. The same amount of time, from the same farmer’s market pile, but they were so different.
When I could wait no longer for the stubborn and solutions-oriented persimmon to get with the program, I decided to give in and make this AMAZING Persimmon Bread.
The recipe is from David Lebovitz from James Beard. It’s such a delight! It surprised even me! Persimmons lend a special sweetness and lots of moisture. There’s bourbon and you can taste it! And the walnuts just balance the whole loaf out perfectly. Use the big fat, super ripe and much Hachiya persimmons for this recipe.
Oh, and… thanks for letting me get that whole sister thing off my chest.
Using the higher amount of sugar will produce a moister and, of course, sweeter bread.
From Beard on Bread by James Beard.
3½ cups sifted flour ( I used half all purpose flour and half white whole wheat flour)
1½ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 to 2½ 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
2 cups persimmon puree (from about 4 squishy-soft Hachiya persimmons)
2 cups walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped
2 cups raisins, or diced dried fruits (such as apricots, cranberries, or dates)
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, persimmon puree then the nuts and raisins.
5. 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.