One of the less-known Fall fruits is Persimmon, the tiny fruits that look like a mix between apples and tomatoes, except that they have a lovely orange-yellow color, and a texture similar to dates. Persimmons are a Winter fruit, and you’ll see plenty of these starting from October till right upto the end of December. They are highly nutritious, with a generous amount of Beta-Carotene, calcium, fiber and iron. Traditionally, Persimmons are available in 2 kinds, the Hachiya persimmon, which is more firm and oblong-shaped, and you should AVOID eating an unripe Hachiya persimmon unless you want to fall sick:) The more friendly counterpart is the Fuyu persimmon, which is not as astringent as the other one, hence you can eat it ripe or unripe.
Persimmons are great in baking, thanks to their complex flavor and texture, and this Persimmon Quick Bread recipe shared by Susan from FoodBlogga, is a testament to the statement. The original recipe comes from the book Food to Live By written by Myra Goodman. Dates, walnuts and persimmons are a terrific combination which makes the quick bread soft moist and nutty at the same time. The addition of Chinese five-spice powder lends it a nice spicy flavor, but if you don’t like these in your quick breads, feel free to omit it.
Spiced Persimmon Bread with Dates & Walnuts
Butter or cooking spray, for greasing the loaf pan
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
2 very ripe Fuyu persimmons, peeled and mashed (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder (optional)
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
To toast the walnuts, spread nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes, then stir them. Bake another 3-5 minutes, until they are lightly colored and fragrant.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter or coat with cooking spray a 5 by 9-inch loaf pan and set aside.
Place the eggs and oil in a medium-size bowl and whisk to combine. Add the persimmons, dates, and walnuts and stir to blend.
Place the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, five-spice powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves in a large bowl and whisk to blend. Add the egg mixture and stir to combine. Do not overmix or the bread will be tough. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
Bake the bread until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 60-70 minutes.
Let the bread cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan and return it to the rack to finish cooling. Serve warm or at room temperature. The breakfast bread can be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to a week.
I have made this bread with a little bit of cocoa powder added to it instead of the Chinese five-spice, and we all loved it. Persimmons have a bit of astringent taste, so you can use other fruits like cranberries or apricots to balance it. Using walnuts is a must, as they make the bread nice and crunchy, but pecans or toasted almonds might be another good choice.