I went to Franschhoek with some friends this weekend and the road was lined with fruit sellers holding big bags of bright orange persimmons. Of course we pulled over onto the side of the road and bargained our way to two bags of the ripest most beautiful sunset coloured persimmons we could find. These persimmons look like fat squat orange tomatoes. This is the Fuyu persimmon. It is sweet when hard and increases in sweetness the riper it gets. You can eat it as is or use it in salads, sorbets or bake with it etc. The other type of persimmon is the Hachiya persimmon which looks more like an elongated Roma tomato and must be extremely ripe when eaten or else it’s terribly sour and astringent.
This persimmon bread will make your kitchen smell amazing. It’s jam packed with so many layers of flavour. The sweet persimmons pair beautifully with the cinnamon and vanilla. The splash of Whiskey adds a lovely smokey dimension and the dried fruit and pistachios add some great texture. I came across this recipe from David Lebovitz which he adapted from Beard on Bread by James Beard. I’ve tweaked it to my liking with the cinnamon and vanilla and removed the nutmeg. I’ve also played with the nuts and fruit I added and so can you. You can adapt this recipe to your liking as it is very forgiving much like a banana bread or pumpkin loaf. Make sure your persimmons are nice and ripe. Not on the verge of bursting like a Hachiya persimmon should be but like an over-ripe tomato- slightly soft and squishy to the touch.
I have also used two types of flour in this loaf. Half all-purpose and half wholegrain. This BIO-WHEAT wholegrain flour is amazing. My mom bought it for me to hint for a batch of rusks and i’ve totally fallen in love with a bag of flour. This stone ground flour is produced in the Overberg and the farm is GMO free and organic. It’s flavourful, textured and healthy. Ok- enough about flour. Get baking!
Persimmon bread with pistachios & cranberries
makes 1 large loaf
- 200g all-purpose flour
- 200g wholegrain flour
- 200g sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla powder or vanilla paste
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 280g persimmon pulp (one very full cup)
- 115g butter, melted
- 70g raisins
- 70g dried cranberries
- 70g pistachios
- 30ml whiskey
Preheat oven to 180˚C and line a large loaf tin with baking paper and brush with butter.
Cut the persimmons in half around their middle. Use a spoon to scoop out all of the flesh and mush with a fork.
Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to mix. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients.
Add the eggs, melted butter and persimmon pulp and mix.
Finally add the raisins, cranberries, pistachios and whiskey.
Pour into prepared tin and bake in the oven for +- 40 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
Leave to cool on a wire rack before turning out and put the kettle on because a slice of this is destined to be enjoyed with a hot cup of tea.