|Posted on November 28, 2011 at 7:05 AM|
The first time I ever saw persimmons was a few weeks ago. At first glance, they resemble a tomato in size and shape since they are squat, firm and a yellowish-dark orange color. I admit I was a little reluctant to try one because I had no expectation of the taste - know what I mean? I have to be in the right frame of mind to bite into something new. So I did - and oh wow, I was very grateful to have discovered these yummy little treats!
Here's how I'd sum up the taste experience: Persimmons are sweet like a mango or papaya; firmer than a tomato; the skin is resilient but easy to cut into; and the whole fruit is edible except for the top leaves. There is no core and no seeds. They are a late-fall fruit mostly grown in China, Japan and Korea, and in the U.S., they typically come from California. Persimmons are only around for a few weeks every year, so I decided to stock up and see what yumminess could be created in the kitchen.
After doing some research, I found that Persimmon Bread is a popular holiday treat to make and give as gifts. It's much tastier than a standard fruitcake and more seasonal than say, a banana bread. That's what I would compare it to in terms of moisture and versatility - a moist bread that is great for dessert, afternoon tea, or as a brunch treat.
Since it was my first time baking with this fruit, I searched out a recipe instead of making my own. I know, it's a blog-faux-pas to not have an original recipe to share with you, so that's why I'm considering this post "information and educational."
I used this recipe from Allrecipes.com and highly recommend it, two spatulas up! It's easy, delicious and a practical way to use four very ripe persimmons at once.
I made six individual mini-cakes (using a cast-iron cake pan) for Thanksgiving. The smaller portions were decided on instead of a larger cake as an attempt to monitor how much I consume. Ideally - but that's not always how it pans out. I basically try to make sure Rocket Man consumes more than me, and then I don't feel as guilty. In the last three days, we have had this bread for dessert, as a Saturday morning breakfast treat, and as random bites during the day. (Holiday weekend so regular eating times are off. I don't apologize for that. :))
The recipe incorporates cinnamon and nutmeg, plus walnuts and raisins if you desire. Another option is to throw in some whiskey, bourbon or Cointreau (orange-flavored liquor) as a way to add more taste depth. The persimmons are pretty mild in taste, but that's also why it's so yummy: a well-balanced bread that crumbles and doesn't feel like a heavy indulgence. Perfect with whipped cream, a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a serving of creamy Greek yogurt.
I'm so happy to have persimmons in the kitchen for a few more weeks. But I'll be honest with you - these cakes are a little too good. Now it's time to hit the treadmill!