Sometimes chefs (and former chefs) make mistakes. Sometimes we don’t bother to read the recipe, so confident we are in our kitchen skills. And sometimes that confidence comes back and bites us in the ass.
I’ve made this Persimmon bread for what feels like forever. As long as I’ve lived in my house, I’ve had a tree which bears these strange special fruits once a year and I’ve made this bread. I even gave the recipe to my grandfather and before he passed away, it was his favorite thing to make with the persimmons from his tree. My point is that it’s good, and I’ve been making it for so long I should be able to do it in my sleep, right?
I must have been sleeping when I made it for the first time this year because not only did I leave out the baking soda, but the baking powder as well. I have no idea why, except that the recipe I originally wrote for myself (no, not the one below) included the leavening agents in the ingredients but not in the instructions. And clearly, I wasn’t paying attention. It just goes to prove how valuable a concise, clearly written recipe is, even if you’ve made something a dozen times. Out of the oven came two heavy bricks better suited for door stops than for snacking.
This bread exemplifies sweet Fall flavors for me and makes a wonderful dessert with a scoop of ice cream. It’s also pretty damn fine by itself with a cup of coffee. It can be baked ahead for a family breakfast on the day after Thanksgiving or in smaller loaves for holiday gifts.
What kind of recipe reading mishaps have you had? Let me know…
Persimmon Cranberry Bread Recipe
Printable Recipe in PDF
2.5 cups ripe persimmon pulp
1 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup oil
4 whole eggs
4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Yield: Two 9″ loaves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour two 9″ loaf pans.
In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices together and set aside.
In another large mixing bowl (or in your standing mixer), mix the eggs and the sugar until completely blended. Mix in the oil, 2 cups of the ripe persimmon (reserve 1/2 cup), and the dried cranberries.
Slowly add in the flour mixture, 1 cup at a time until it is all combined. Pour in equal amounts into the two prepared loaf pans. Make a small well down the center of the loaf and spoon the remaining persimmon into it as decoration.
Bake on the middle shelf of the oven at 350 degrees for about 1 hour, or until a wooden skewer comes out clean.
Persimmons: There are two kinds, Fuyu and Hachiya. My tree is Fuyu which means the persimmons can be eaten while still firm, or when fully ripe. Hachiya can only be eaten when totally ripe, otherwise they are too astringent. Since this recipe calls for ripe persimmons you can use either. If you have Fuyu, you can mix in some firmer pieces for texture within the bread. If you have a persimmon tree or excess fruit, I’ve found that the pulp freezes very well in tupperware.
Dried Cranberries can be replaced with raisins or dried cherries or other dried fruit. You can also can add other things, like nuts.
Baking Pans: This recipe calls for two 9″ loaf pans but also works well in smaller “gift size” loaf pans, just adjust the baking time. I’ve also made it before in muffin tins.
Mixing: I usually do this in a large mixing bowl, but the last time I made it (not in these photos) I used my Kitchen Aid and it was way easier both to mix, and to pour the batter into the pans using the kitchen aid bowl with the handle.