Because Baking is Creative: Persimmon Bread

Last week my neighbor stopped by with a bag-o-persimmons free to a good home. I gladly chose 4 or 5 and offered him some lemons in exchange. And then I found myself wondering what the heck I was going to do with persimmons. I researched a few ideas that included raw persimmons in salad, salsa or baked with pork...after further exploration I finally found a recipe for Persimmon Bread.

I made a loaf and muffins. This bread is delicious! It's moist and has a wonderful texture with the nuts and raisins (and whatever else you choose to include). I hesitated adding the whiskey but I'm glad I did because it completes the dish perfectly.

These would make perfect gifts as mini loaves...a little something different from the usual pumpkin bread or gingerbread (ooh, gingerbread, I need to make some of that!)

Persimmon Bread
Yields two 9-inch Loaves

Using the higher amount of sugar will produce a moister and, of course, sweeter bread.

Adapted from Beard on Bread by James Beard.

3½ cups sifted 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.

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