MidKnight Snacks: persimmon bread
It’s that time of year again – when that one fruit nobody cares about but only shows up for three months of the year finally shows up
December 8, 2020
It’s winter. Being a Floridian, that doesn’t really mean much aside from a few weeks of sub 80° weather, and a few extra holidays. But I always know it’s that time of year when I see fuyu and hachiya persimmons stocked at the grocery store. The sweet vermilion fruit is only around for a few months out of the year, so it’s important to make the most out of them as soon as they hit the shelves.
Normally, I just grab a dozen fuyus and devour them at an alarming rate. But I figured that I should do more to commemorate them this year, so I decided to delve into the expansive world of persimmon-containing baked goods, starting with a simple persimmon bread.
Now would be a good time to point out the differences between fuyu and hachiya persimmons, as to those not yet brought to its light, the persimmon can be rather daunting. Fuyus are squarish and stocky, almost looking like a hard orange tomato with an ornate stem. They are perfect for eating on the go, and have a floral honeyish sweetness and welcoming slight crunch.
Hachiya, on the other hand, look similar to fuyu but are elongated, having more of a radishlike shape. If one tries to eat a hachiya at the same hard stage of ripeness as they would a fuyu, they’d be met with an overwhelmingly horrifying encounter with astringency that makes your tongue feel like plywood. So it’s very important to let them ripen, which takes a long while so buy them in advance. A ripe hachiya should be slightly disconcertingly mushy, with incredibly sweet flesh almost the texture of sorbet. Both types of persimmon are used in this recipe.
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsalted room temperature butter, plus more for greasing your loaf pan
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup hachiya persimmon pulp
- 1 fuyu persimmon, sliced thinly, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease the loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, sift the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves).
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar.
In a small bowl, beat the eggs with the vanilla extract.
With a hand mixer or standing mixer, slowly pour the egg mixture into the creamed butter and sugar. Mix well.
Add the persimmon pulp.
With a spoon or rubber spatula, add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients 1/3 at a time. Mix with a rubber spatula until just incorporated.
Pour into loaf pan. Shingle persimmon slices over top.
Cook 48-55 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Before baking, it’s best to ensure that your persimmon pulp is smooth by either running it through a food mill or blitzing it a few times with a food processor. MAKE SURE that you don’t leave any skins in there, as they are thick and impart a bad texture.
- The fuyu slices on top should be paper thin, I recommend using a mandolin for best results. Don’t overlap them too much or else they will insulate the center from cooking properly.
- Pairs nicely with black tea or cider.
My attempt at this recipe wasn’t bad, and ended up rather delicious. I’m no avid baker, so I made a few mistakes here and there, but the recipe is rather forgiving, and bequeathed a texture akin to a banana bread.
The final product is not too sweet, and rather light despite its density. A very cozy sweet to accompany the coming festive times, this recipe is sure to even enliven those who’ve never heard of a persimmon, and keep them waiting until their return next winter!
Samuel Elliott is a junior staff writer for RHSToday and Knight Writers. This is his first year on staff. Aside from work and writing, his spare time is...