After one year and 104 recipes, I finished the Brooks Bakes Bread Project on March 27, 2012. You can still find me baking and cooking at my new blog, Tangled Up In Food.

Archives: 6 November 2011

Persimmon Bread
November 6, 2011

by stacy
Published on: November 6, 2011
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“This old recipe, sent to me by a dear friend from the Middle West, makes a bread that is almost cakelike in texture…It is unusual, rich, and thoroughly delicious.”
-James Beard, Beard on Bread

I have been a persimmon quest for almost two months now.  They are extremely difficult to find in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area in the fall: I struck out at my big-box grocery store, the farmer’s market, and the Linden Hills Co-op.  Just as I was about to give up and buy persimmon puree online at an exorbitant price, I happened along some persimmons at the Mississippi Market when I was visiting St. Paul.  It was a happy day, up there with my last day of high school gym class and the day I discovered Nutella.

So what is a persimmon?  It’s an orange fruit that looks like a pointy tomato:


After letting my persimmons ripen on the counter for a week, I tackled Persimmon Bread last Friday.

Here are the ingredients:

Persimmon Bread Ingredients

There are a couple inaccuracies in this picture: 1) the recipe calls for baking soda, not baking powder, which I luckily realized before mixing it in, and 2) there were four persimmons, not three, but I had already made persimmon puree with one of them.  I also substituted nutmeg for mace and left out the raisins (no surprise there!)

Beard doesn’t specify how to go about making persimmon puree.  I used a potato masher.  From experience, I can assure you that it works much better to peel the persimmon first, instead of smashing the persimmon and then picking out pieces of peel.  The persimmon puree tasted like peaches.

Persimmon Puree

Pureeing the persimmons is the most difficult part of this recipe.  Since this is a baking soda bread, I simply mixed the ingredients together.  There is a lot of everything in this recipe: two sticks of butter, four eggs, two cups of sugar, and 2/3 of a cup of bourbon.  Feeling slightly woozy from the alcohol fumes, I poured the batter into three quart-sized Pyrex dishes.

Persimmon Bread Before Baking

I baked the loaves for 1 hour at 350 degrees, checking for doneness by poking the loaves with a cake tester.

Persimmon Bread

The loaves looked pretty darn cute.  The taste was another matter: Persimmon Bread tastes like bourbon.  This may be a positive selling point for some people, but after hunting for two months and spending $7.96 on organic persimmons, I wanted my bread to actually taste like said persimmons.  On the plus side, Mike thought the bread was pretty good and has made his way through one loaf.  Next time, I’ll skip the persimmons and just add some more bourbon.

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Loaves baked   Loaves to go
About the Baker
I'm a paralegal living and working in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. Besides baking, blogging, and eating bread, I love knitting and enjoying the Minnesota outdoors. My husband, Mike, is the Brooks Bakes Bread website developer, bread photographer, and chief taste tester.
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