In every Iranian household you will find a fruit bowl on the kitchen table full to the brim. If you are at my parent's house you will notice that the fruit bowl has birthed smaller fruit bowls, a colony really, that have taken over the better part of the dining room table. They are full of apples and bananas, tiny seedless satsumas, sweet limes and pomegranates and this time of year there is at least one bowl reserved for my dad's favorite persimmons. A few weeks ago when I arrived in Seattle to stay with my folks I found no less than 24 of them sitting on the table slowly ripening, we ate them one at a time as they softened into sweet, honeyed, magical, mush. My mom even added them to her morning yogurt smoothies. Then, as they started to ripen all at once I knew it was time to bake something special for my pops. We ate this sweet, spiced bread plain for breakfast then the next day we topped it with ice cream and bourbon butterscotch sauce and had it for dessert. I recommend you do the same.
Persimmon Bread adapted from Bon Appetit
yield 1, 9x5 loaf
3/4c all purpose flour
3/4c whole wheat flour
1t baking soda
1t ground cinnamon
1/2t ground ginger
1/2c sultanas or raisins
Hachiya persimmons, enough to yield 1c puree
2T finely grated orange zest
1/2c softened butter
1c light brown sugar
2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350º
Butter and flour 9x5 loaf pan
1. Combine the raisins and 2T hot water in a small heatproof bowl. Let them sit while you prepare the other ingredients
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, salt and spices.
3. Scoop the persimmon flesh from their skins and transfer to a blender. Puree the mixture until it is very smooth. You can also do this in a bowl with an immersion blender. Measure out 1c of the persimmon puree and mix in the buttermilk and orange zest. Save the remaining puree for another use.
4. In the bowl of a standing mixer cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. About 3 min. Add the eggs one at a time then slowly stream in the persimmon mixture and mix until combined.
5. Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix on low until almost completely combined. Drain the raisins and gently fold them in. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 1 hr.
6. Let the bread cool in the pan for at least 20 min, bread will be very soft, unmold and cool completely on a wire rack.
- Make sure you bake your bread throughly, don't worry, it will be very dark when it is done.
- You must, must use very ripe, very soft persimmons for this recipe. Unripe persimmon are very tannic and pretty much inedible.