Persimmons are in season. You probably know there are two kinds of persimmons, the Hachiya and the Fuyu. The Hachiya is extremely tart and makes your mouth pucker while the Fuyu can be eaten fresh like an apple. I have been picking them up, admiring them, and putting them back down at the market for a couple of weeks due to the $1.99 each pricing. This week they were 10 for $10.00 so I bought six Fuyus. I was searching for something different to make with them when I came across a recipe for Persimmon Bread. I sacrificed three of my beautiful persimmons for a bread that was not good at all. It was greasy, had a weird spongy texture, and no persimmon taste to it.
Here is the recipe:
|½ cup butter||1 tablespoon water|
|1 cup sugar||2 cups flour|
|q (sic) teaspoon vanilla||1 teaspoon salt|
|3 eggs||1 teaspoon baking soda|
|3 ripe persimmon pureed||½ cup nuts ( optional)|
Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla. Add eggs one at a time. Beat well. Add the persimmons and water. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and soda. Add flour mixture to batter along with the nuts. Mix until smooth. Pour into a loaf pan and bake at 350° for 50- 60 minutes. Cool well before cutting.
After throwing the bread out, uneaten, I had to wonder?
I began to examine the recipe to find it’s faults. I think the greasy, spongy texture was the result of too much fat. Three eggs and 1/2 cup butter are too much for one loaf of quick bread.
The other reason for the odd texture could be that the persimmons were pureed, causing them to be almost liquid in consistency. I believe that contributed to the heaviness of the batter.
The last issue with this bread was lack of flavor. The persimmon and vanilla were not enough to give this bread taste. So my job, if I am to rescue this recipe, is to cut down on the fat, reduce the liquid ingredients, and add flavor.
Here is how I did it. Instead of 3 eggs, I added one whole egg and one egg white. I reduced the butter from 1/2 cup to 1/3 cup. I decided not to puree the persimmons to reduce the volume of liquid. I chopped the persimmons into small pieces and added them to the batter between the egg, sugar and vanilla and the dry ingredients. That allowed them to macerate a little while still retaining some bits and pieces. Lastly, to add flavor I used more vanilla along with cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg and tangerine zest.
Here is my version:
Persimmon Bread – Rescued Recipe Version
The persimmon bread is baking right now and the aroma is heavenly. If it tastes as good as it smells, we have a winner. I don’t think I will be able to wait for it to cool before cutting since it is way past my bedtime. I am going to try a piece right out of the oven.
I didn’t wait for it to cool but about five minutes. I sliced off the end, my favorite, and a piece for Michael. I thought it was excellent. Michael wasn’t as thrilled, commenting, “it’s not my favorite.” To be fair, he likes quick breads buttered and I wouldn’t butter it because the first recipe he tried without butter. I wanted an honest comparison. He also likes things sweet and this is not as sweet as banana bread, his favorite. Lastly, I don’t think he is a persimmon fan.
I, on the other hand, think this Recipe Rescue is a success. It is crumbly and light, not rubbery like the first recipe. It has good flavor and the cooked bits of persimmon keep it moist. I will be down in the kitchen early in the morning in my bathrobe and slippers, making a cup of coffee to go with a slice or two of this bread. And I’ll have to do it all that in the dark because the donkeys stalk me and if they see a light go on, they’ll bray until I go give them some oats. I need my coffee and persimmon bread before dealing with two donkeys, four goats, two emus and sixty chickens. Sorry guys.
I think I did those last three fuyus proud.
- 1 whole egg plus 1 egg white
- ⅔ cups sugar
- ⅓ cup room temperature butter
- 1½ tsp vanilla
- 3 Fuyu persimmons, peeled and finely chopped
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg (use regular nutmeg if you have to)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Zest of two tangerines or other citrus
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Add the egg, and sugar to your mixing bowl and beat just until mixed. Add the sugar and vanilla and mix until it is a creamy, soft and light yellow. add the persimmons and mix on low.
- In an small bowl, mix the flour and baking soda together with a fork. I hate sifting. Add to wet ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. add the nutmeg, cinnamon, pecan and zest. Mix on low just until everything gets blended into the batter.
- Spray a loaf pan with non-stick baking spray or grease and flour it. Spoon the batter into the loaf pan and spread evenly. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Allow to cool thoroughly before slicing.