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.
Love this recipe and have made it many times since I grow my own persimmons. One thing you might try is putting your 2 cups of raisins in a large measuring cup and filling it up with whiskey until you cover all the raisins. Let this sit for about an hour until you get ready to start mixing up all the ingredients. Pour off and save the whiskey, add your 2/3 cups whiskey to the mixture and proceed as usual with the mixing and baking. Allowing the raisins to soak in the whiskey, plumps them up and really gives a good taste to your persimmon bread.
=) I realize this is 4 years after you posted it, but I must comment on the little sister thing. Partly ’cause I’m a younger sister, and also ’cause I’m a bio dork who minored in anthropology.
I am convinced that the youngest sibling often develops certain interpersonal skills, such as a strong charm streak, because they have to. The baby will pretty much NEVER be able to win a contest of physical strength against their older sibling, the baby always knows WAY less than everyone else in the house (so is easily fooled & more often confused), and until they’re grown up, also have less $$ or ability to earn it. No power, and no tangible resources.
So, I think the babies learn pretty quickly that to get someone to help us, or be on our side, since we have NO power or resources to offer, we learn to CHARM them into wanting to help us, or being on our side. Whether that’s by being extra delightful and entertaining, or by crying and making them feel sorry for us.
Since we cannot force things, and typically have less actual power than ANYONE in the house (keenly felt), we have to manipulate & strategize to get things to go our way. =) Otherwise we’re 100% hosed.
And I’m not calling all the “babies” charming, but I’ve noticed this is v. common among my friends who were the youngest.
My sister, on the other hand, could scare the crap out of anyone in the neighborhood, and was a great person to have my back. =) ‘Course she scared me too, but we’ve already covered that. =)
LOVE love LOVE your thoughtful posts. Love your writing. Want you to write more, always. xo
I too found this recipe on David Leibovitz’s website and have made it many a time. If you want to intensify the persimmon flavor, I like to cook the puree down a bit, you know get rid of some of the water first, so it’s even more persimmony.
This is a very good bread. Try soaking the raisins in the bourbon that you will be using, even more flavor for the bread.
I have no clue what cognac was. I looked it up and found out it was like brandy. I choose to not use alcohol what can i substitute with.
Holy moly do your breads look AWEsome! Maybe it’s just great photography, but we’re pretty good at eyeballing great tasting pastry even prior to tasting. We were searching for a persimmon bread recipe to share w/ our customers in an article on winter fruit (or lack thereof). We’ll be creating a link to your website and trying out of your recipes ASAP! – Thanks!
Can you tell me why my persimmon bread falls in the middle while baking not while cooling.
Yummy recipe with tender crumb. I subbed lemon juice for the bourbon and reduced to 1/2 c. per Janet’s suggestion and used 2 c sugar. Baked some mini loaves to share with friends. Looking forward to trying more of Joy’s recipes!
This persimmon bread recipe is not ADAPTED from James Beard; this IS James Beard’s recipe–in most places word for word. Very naughty, I think.
Mine is in the oven as I write. I feel a little tipsy from the batter bowl I licked at the end! I ran out of white sugar and had to sub some dark brown for about 1/2 cup, hope it’s okay!