Persimmon Bread

by on November 16, 2007
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PersimmonsIt’s persimmon time again, or at least it was, very briefly, in my parents’ yard in Louisiana. I got an email a couple of weeks ago from my dad saying that if I wanted persimmons, I’d better come get them because they were rapidly going from ripe to overripe to compost. He’d pick what was left on the trees and hold them for me, but they wouldn’t last long.

So last weekend I made a quick trip down to pick up my persimmons, along with boxes full of the citrus fruits–Meyer lemons, naval oranges, satsumas, and calamondins–that were just beginning too ripen. My kitchen now looks like a fruit stand! Fortunately, the citrus will keep, but many of the persimmons were at the use ‘em or lose ‘em stage. I’ve been eating them every chance I get, but since I’m the only one in my house who likes them, I knew I had to start cooking with them. My parents mentioned that they had been substituting them for banana in banana bread, so I decided to give that a try and adapted my Cherry-Walnut Banana Bread recipe.

Persimmon Bread

Before I get to the recipe, let me say a word about persimmons. As I’ve written before, most of the persimmons we get in the U.S. are of two types: the acorn-shaped Hachiya, which needs to be so ripe that it’s practically squishy when you eat it or else it will be so astringent that your mouth will pucker, and the more squatty-shaped Fuyu, which is sweet and delicious even when the fruit is still firm. Conventional wisdom says that Hachiyas are the ones you cook with, but I’m going to tell you a secret: If you let Fuyus get ripe enough, they will get soft just like Hachiyas and you can cook with them, too. The persimmons I got from my parents are Fuyus, and they’re delciously sweet whether they’re firm and crisp or soft and mushy.

Persimmon Bread

I used the soft and mushy ones for this bread, about 6 of them. They had seeds, so what I did was cut them in half and scoop out the seeds and flesh with a grapefruit spoon. I tossed the seeds into a separate bowl and didn’t even try to get off the flesh that clung to them–that’s just too much work. It’s a pretty messy job, so don’t take your cutting board and bowls into the family room and watch TV while you’re doing it, or you’ll get persimmon pulp all over the coffee table and your daughter’s homework. Not that anyone would do that, of course!

Persimmon Bread

The finished bread was amazingly moist and cake-like, even though I used all whole wheat flour (the white King Arthur kind) and no refined sugar. The persimmons gave it a lovely orange color, very fall-like, and the taste was mild and lightly sweet. The whole family loved it, devouring it in one day without any margarine or spread. The next time I make it, I may add a little cinnamon and cloves to spice it up, but then, I’m the spicy type.

Persimmon Bread 3

Persimmon Bread

(printer-friendly version)

I baked this bread in a small, silicone bundt pan, but you can use a regular bread pan, preferably a smaller sized one.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups persimmon, mashed pulp
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil or unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar (or substitute 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar and 2 tbsp. water)
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup raisins (may use up to 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional–may use up to 1/2 cup)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Oil or spray a loaf pan or bundt pan.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the persimmon, lemon juice, oil or apple sauce, and agave nectar. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, except for raisins and walnuts. Pour the wet into the dry and mix just until all flour is moistened (do not over-mix). Fold in the raisins and walnuts, if desired.
  3. Pour into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40-50 minutes. (My bundt pan took closer to 40 minutes.) Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then remove from the pan. Cool completely before serving.
  4. Note: Low-fat quickbreads like this really benefit from being allowed to cool completely, which is why they often taste better the next day. The crust, which is chewier than breads with oil, will gather moisture and softness over time.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s) | Cooking time: 40 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 12

Made with all optional ingredients, including canola oil and 1/4 cup walnuts, each serving contains: 180 Calories (kcal); 4g Total Fat; (19% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 35g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 184mg Sodium; 3g Fiber. Weight Watchers: 3 Points.

Without canola oil or walnuts: Per serving: 145 Calories (kcal); 1g Total Fat; (2% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 35g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 184mg Sodium; 3g Fiber. Weight Watchers: 2 Points.


In the mood for bread but don’t have persimmons? Try one of my favorite quickbread recipes:

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rachel November 17, 2009 at 1:07 am

Thanks for a great recipe…I substituted toasted almonds for the walnuts…

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2 Hanna December 19, 2009 at 10:23 pm

I want to try this and I love bundt cakes but I don't have a bundt pan. What kind do you recommend?

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3 Jennifer December 30, 2009 at 8:11 pm

i just made this today (without the raisins or walnuts) and i really loved it! i appreciated that there was no nondairy milk in this recipe. Sometimes it's nice to have a break from the basics :)

i added a sugar glaze to the top, even though it's not that healthy ;)

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4 Peggy November 16, 2010 at 9:06 am

I just got a box of persimmons yesterday that my MIL shipped to me. Now I know what I am going to do with some. :)

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5 Sylvia Castelluzzo December 7, 2010 at 5:24 pm

Hi! I made your persimmon bread…..I was skeptical about it being complete without the eggs, but it turned out GREAT!!!!!!! I never ate a persimmon before, and tasted them while I was cutting them, they r yummy. The bread is a winner.

Thank you!!!

You are a blessing.

Love,
Sylvia

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6 Sarah December 8, 2010 at 8:05 am

This recipe is really good- thank you! Helped me finish up the last few persimmons I had. But now I’m wishing I had more of the darn things so that I could make and freeze another loaf of this delicious bread for later.

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7 Susan December 24, 2010 at 12:06 pm

hmm Can i use a no calorie sugar instead of the agave nectar??

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8 SusanV December 24, 2010 at 1:51 pm

If it’s one that substitutes 1 to1 for sugar, you can try. You just need to use the same amount as the agave in the recipe.

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9 phoebe June 10, 2011 at 4:04 pm

hi:
this is the coolest idea of using persimmons :O
i just have a question:
can i replace the agave nectar with honey?
btw..have you tried to make cake/bread with papaya? it is amazing;)

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10 SusanV June 10, 2011 at 4:06 pm

You can use any liquid sweetener (sugar) instead of the agave. I haven’t baked with papaya, but it sounds good!

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11 Lynne October 30, 2011 at 11:49 am

Made some persimmon bread from your recipe with a little bit of substitutions. Came out very tasty but a bit too moist.
Do you have any suggestions on how to convert a sweet bread recipe (like the persimmon bread) into one that would work to make muffins?

Thanks!

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12 M. Toy November 19, 2011 at 10:42 am

Will fuyu persimmons bread or cake freeze?

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13 Susan Voisin November 19, 2011 at 10:45 am

Yes, the bread should freeze just fine.

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14 Julie January 2, 2012 at 2:54 pm

This is pretty good for no oil,butter,milk or eggs. I had extra persimmon puree so skipped the oil/applesauce. For the sweetener I used half agave and half date syrup/paste. I was a little concerned whether or not it would hold together so I did add 1 tsp xanthan gum. Turned out plenty sweet enough and extra moist (almost gooey). Persimmon is a very mild flavor so the bread tasted faintly nutmegy with no real persimmon taste. All in all, a decent alternative to the standard banana bread. It doubled well.

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15 steph November 30, 2012 at 11:36 am

how does one get the persimmon pulp? Peeling?

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16 Susan Voisin November 30, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Steph, I go into detail about that in the post. Basically it involves scooping the pulp out of the halved persimmons.

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17 sepeters December 28, 2012 at 9:42 pm

I have wanted to make this but cannot stop eating the persimmons and never have enough. I cannot eat the hachiya kind, so I always end up digging into the fuyus before they are even soft and don’t ever have enough for this or the sorbet! I’ll keep dreaming.

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18 Tazia January 26, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Just made this recipe and was in love at first bite. I think I used too large of a buddy pan though so I will use a smaller one next time so I can get the beautiful shape. I just cut the tops off my persimmons and sliced them in quarters, threw them in the magic bullet and voila!

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19 Tracy December 1, 2013 at 11:02 pm

I just tried this recipe, I used oil instead of applesauce and coconut sugar (1:1 as regular sugar) instead of agave nectar , as was recommended. However, the batter was very dry and crumbly. I added a bit more of persimmon to moisten it up, but after baking it came out dry and like a biscuit. I believe that the sugar +2tbsps of water is not enough liquid to replace the agave nectar. Very sad about the results, besides the oil, I just wasted very good quality ingredients.

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