A few years ago, I got up super early every Saturday morning to participate in the Bountiful Baskets coop in our area. It was fun being surprised with what produce we’d get every week. In September that month, we were BOMBARDED with persimmons. It was a fruit I was familiar with only by sight. I hadn’t eaten them…hadn’t cooked with them…and wasn’t sure I wanted to. Pretty strange for someone that is pretty adventurous when it comes to food. But persimmons, for some reason, simply didn’t look appetizing to me.
However, that September and early October, our fruit bin was overflowing with bright orange fruits. I couldn’t just let them go to waste…and several were already becoming overly ripe. So, I figured…you can salvage overly ripe bananas with a good quick bread…why not persimmons? The first try was good…but over the years it just keeps getting better and better. This is now one of our favorite quick breads!
It’s perfect for anytime from September through the holidays with its use of nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. And there’s something delightful about the little chunks of orange fruit and dates mixed with the little crunchy toasted nuts from bite to bite. Slather with some good sweet cream butter, and you’ll be in persimmon heaven! (I never thought I’d use those two words together!)
Persimmon Pecan Bread
Time: 1 hour-1 hour 5 minutes (10 minutes to mix, 45-55 minutes to bake)
Makes 2 full sized loaves
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup persimmon pulp (make sure the persimmons are nice and ripe…squishy persimmons are best)
2 cups flour (1 3/4 at low altitude)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 cup chopped, pitted dates
Preheat oven to 370° (350° at low altitude).
In a large bowl, blend sugar and oil on low speed until completely combined. Add persimmon pulp and eggs and beat for 1 minute longer or until well mixed.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Add nuts and dates and mix well.
Stir flour mixture into persimmon mixture until just combined.
Grease and coat two loaf pans with flour. Divide bread batter equally between the two pans. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Turn onto wire rack to cool. Bread also freezes well.