Every market I walk into, the produce section is like a friggin’ party these days, with so many new, seasonal jewels to choose from. How can I resist buying these beauties, when they are stacked in neat little piles of orange-ish red shiny glory?
I couldn’t, my chickies, I just couldn’t. I succumbed and bought three, even though I never really liked persimmons to begin with.
Sure, they’re an autumn necessity in every Japanese household, just like how we must eat satsuma tangerines in the winter months, peeling one by one until our fingertips turn yellow. But I don’t ever recall going through boxes of persimmons like their winter counterparts. I would only have a piece if my mother graciously peeled them, sectioned them, and then put a toothpick on each piece and have them all nice and ready on a plate (yes, Mom spoiled us). After I moved out, I never had a persimmon again.
This isn’t uncommon. Like persimmons, there are many fruits and vegetables that I didn’t really care to eat until I started blogging. Some of these include pomegranates and figs, yams and kale… But thanks to fated run-ins with my now favorite recipe blogs (Orangette
, Chefs Gone Wild
, and the other bajillions in my link list), I am now exposed to ingredients I’ve never even thought of touching.
On top of that, I run out of things to write (gasp!). That alone drives me to try new things and new recipes.
So I had a persimmon for the first time in six years.
There I was, peeling my 99-cent-a-pound Fuyu persimmon (it’s redonk cheap during peak season – November), wondering what the heck I was going to do with these in the event that I didn’t like them (Don already told me that he doesn’t like them – surprise, surprise). Well, it’s a fruit, so you have to be able to eat it raw, no? (Actually, I did that with a raw cranberry once and regretted it very much) So I sliced them like Mom used to, and popped on in my mouth.
That persimmon I had today was absolutely delicious. Juicy, pulpy, with that unpretentious, uncomplex sweetness – it was autumn in nommage.
I could end my entry here, but now that wouldn’t be much fun, would it? So I baked you a loaf with the rest. I’m going to tell you that I’m quite happy with the result, because each bite conveys everything that is persimmon: simple, sweet, rustic, and a bit orange. It’s a little on the dense side with all that persimmon pulp in it, and it’s great toasted, with a pat of salted butter.
about 2 small (9 inch) loaf pans
3 large persimmons
1 1/2 cup flour (about 8 oz)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 stick butter
4 tbsp sugar (about 3 oz)
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp cinnamon
dark rum (optional)
1. Preheat your oven at 375F, and line a regular sized loaf pan with parchment paper.
2. Chop up persimmons into a large dice. Put it in a microwave safe bowl, sprinkle some dark rum on it, if you’re going to use any. Toss with cinnamon, cover lightly with saranwrap, and microwave for about a minute, or until the persimmons are soft. Set aside to cool.
3. Beat your butter until creamy, then add the now-cooled cooked persimmons and mix to combine. Beat in eggs, then milk.
4. In a separate bowl, stir flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder together with a fork.
5. Into the large bowl of persimmon-butter-mixture, add 1/3 of dry ingredients and lightly stir to combine. Repeat until you use up everything.
6. Pour into the pan. Smooth the top, and pop it in the oven. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the top is golden and when jabbed with a toothpick, the toothpick comes out clean.
7. Let it cool a bit before nommage. Toast a bit, pat a bit of butter on it, and sip some breakfast blend coffee. Mmmmm.
Recipe updated October 19th, 2010