EBENACEAE, The Ebony wood family
Happy new year.
Persimmons are a beautiful aspect of Portland’s abundance. When friends were giving them away by the bagful weeks ago I had no time to do anything with them. So instead of leaving them on the counter where, as gorgeous as they are, they eventually start giving me baleful glances, I just popped them all into the freezer, laid out on top of a tub of berries.
This weekend when I had the chance to do some healing baking, I thawed a pile of them to make this amazing quick bread:
1 3/4 c. flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter, melted
1/4 c. whisky
1 c. persimmon puree
1 c. walnuts
1 c. chopped dates and/or raisins
Heat oven to 350 F. Butter a loaf pan, dust with flour. Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Whisk wet ingredients together and add to dry, folding together gently. Stir in nuts and dried fruit.
Bake for 1 hour or so.
Use plum jam instead of the persimmons and reduce the sugar by half. Sub Absolut Kurrant for the whisky and currants for the dried fruit.
Use apple or pear butter instead of persimmons and reduce sugar. Sub brandy for whisky and add a little cinnamon.
Adapted from Ellen Jackson, for Edible Portland, who adapted it from James Beard’s Beard on Bread. She recommends making a double batch and I definitely second that.