Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Persimmon Bread

With all of the Foodbuzz blogger festivities behind us, it is due time for some actual food, don't you think? I am sure all of the coverage of the blogger festival by myself and the multitude of other foodies has been more than enough to make you jealous, and maybe even gotten you thinking about starting your own food blog. Fair enough, you deserve a good recipe, something to fill your kitchen with delicious aromas. You've waiting long enough.

As we roll through Fall onto the threshold of Winter, the variety of fruits and vegetables coming in our CSA box is changing, and bringing new challenges to the Tiny Kitchen. Among the vibrant pile of bock choi, beets, sweet potatoes and pomegranates, came a bag of bright, plump Fuyu Persimmons. Once I got past the initial forehead-wrinkling over what I could possibly do with these beauties, unsure if they required some ancient alchemy to even be edible, I figured out that I had the variety that could be rinsed and eaten like an apple.

Still, I actually wanted to make something with them, so I scoured the interwebs for a persimmon bread recipe that was relatively simple and painless, and stumbled onto this recipe from the Fat free Vegan blog. I admit that I probably had the wrong variety of persimmon for this recipe, as the flesh of the fruit should be from the mushy Hachiya type and not the firm Fuyu type, but I made it work. I peeled the persimmons, chopped them into quarters and threw them into the food processor for a few seconds to turn them into a pulp. Keep in mind this is a vegan recipe, and as it does not contain dairy or eggs, it is not as moist as other quick breads. With all of that said, here's what to do:

1 1/4 cups persimmon, mashed pulp
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons canola oil or unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup agave nectar (or substitute 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar and 2 tbsp. water)
2 cups whole wheat flour1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup raisins or dried apricots, chopped (may use up to 1/2 cup)
(I used apricots, because, well, I don't like raisins.)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional--may use up to 1/2 cup)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray.

In a small bowl, combine the persimmon, lemon juice, applesauce and agave nectar. In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients, except for the apricots and walnuts. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, stirring until the flour is just moist, do not over mix. Fold in the apricots and walnuts, if desired.

Pour mixture into the prepared loaf pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean, about 40 - 50 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. You can allow to cool completely before serving, or wrap in plastic and store in the refrigerator.

The bread is good warm, but really shines if given the chance to cool completely before serving. Better yet, let it chill overnight as it tastes even better the next day. This loaf is dense and filling, but lightly sweet in just the right way. This came in handy as a mid-morning workday snack, or great after dinner drizzled with a little honey.



Ginny Braxler said...

I just thought it would be interesting to you to know that my only experience with persimmons was in your grandparents' yard in Illinois. Your Dad and I were grade school friends and all I remember is the squishy goodness of the ripe fruit and the unique pucker of those not so ripe...