Persimmons. The first time I had one I bit into an unripe Hachiya persimmon. The tannins and my tongue did not agree. At the time, I was ignorant of the differences between our two main persimmons, the Fuyu and Hachiya. The Fuyu can be eaten like apples, while the Hachiya pretty much have to become mushy to be edible.
Either way, they’re both delicious and one of the only fruit crops abundant in late fall/early winter. I did some research and found a couple of leads about a nice little persimmon operation out in Moorpark. I recruited my farm friends and we set out to find this farm. I had no real concrete information. No farm name, phone number, or hours of operation. Just a random address and two tips from the internet.
As luck would have it, we happened upon a few tattered signs for persimmons. We followed them and found ourselves at Ellie’s Persimmon Farm. The orchard is planted on a hillside, so it can be a little treacherous. The orchard is mostly Fuyu trees with some Hachiya sprinkled in at the top. The persimmons were perfect, organic and cheap. There is no admission fee and you can eat as many as you like and no one seemed to mind that we brought a pup.
Most of us took home insane amounts of persimmons. I took home the least. Looking at my haul of 7lbs had me thinking of what I could do with all of them. I didn’t know what to make….except persimmon bread. I knew I wanted some really good persimmon bread. And lucky for me, that is exactly what I got.
adapted from Apt 2B Baking Co.
This bread is super moist, dense and delicious.
3/4 c unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 c farmer’s market raisins (no other raisins will do)
1 c persimmon puree (I used a mix of Fuyu and very ripe Hachiya)
1/3 c coconut milk yogurt (I like So Delicious brand)
2 tbsp orange zest
1/2 c Earth Balance, slightly softened
1 c brown sugar
2 tsp Ener-G egg replacer
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan.
Soak the raisins in 2 tbsp of hot water. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a separate smaller bowl, combine the persimmon puree with the yogurt and zest. In the bowl of your standing mixer (I’m sorry for so many bowls), cream together the Earth Balance and brown sugar until fluffy. Add the Ener-G to combine. Next, add the persimmon puree and mix. Slowly add the flour mixture to the standing mixture and lastly, fold in the raisins. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for about 60 min until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool for 15-20 min in the pan before removing.