Most people are familiar with persimmons. Few however, seem to know what to do with them. Persimmons are in season from around September through December. The two main varieties seen in stores are the larger, pointy Hachiyas and the smaller flat Fuyus.
The main difference between them is, that the Hachiyas need to be fully ripe (super soft like a really ripe banana) and the Fuyus can be eaten firm like an apple, or soft. If cut into horizontal slices, a beautiful pattern is revealed!
When persimmons show up at my local farm stand, I buy a big bag of them. After drying the persimmons well, I spread them out on a thick towel, and turn them daily for even ripening.
When fully ripe, I purée them in the food processor. After washing them well, I cut out the stem end and don’t peel them. I also always freeze some extra pulp in pre-measured portions to use later in the season.
This persimmon chocolate chip bread is by far one of the most popular quick breads I make. It’s fragrant with cinnamon and nutmeg, and laced with melty chocolate chips and bright orange specks of persimmon. I almost always double the recipe so I can give some away to friends and family.
It has become a favorite since I first began baking it 20 years ago. The recipe is from an old Sunset cookbook, titled “Fresh Produce A-Z”. I replace the walnuts it calls for with chocolate chips. I also reduced the sugar by half, and if you are vegan, using a flaxseed egg instead of the real thing will make the bread every bit as tasty. ( For the flaxseed egg, combine 4 tablespoons ground golden flaxseed with 8 tablespoons boiling water. Mix and let it cool before mixing it into the batter.)
Try it, and it might become a favorite treat in your family too!
Here is what to do:
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup persimmon pulp
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 to 1 cup of firmly packed brown sugar (I find 1/2 cup is perfect)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 6 oz. dark chocolate chips
- 1 egg or 1 flaxseed egg
- 1/3 cup unsweetened non dairy milk
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Measure the persimmon pulp into a small bowl.
Add the baking soda and stir well. Set it aside.
In a larger bowl, thoroughly combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and chocolate chips.
Next, stir the persimmon pulp. It most likely is firm.
Add the egg or flaxseed egg, the oil, and non dairy milk to the persimmon and mix well.
Add the wet mix to the dry mix.
Combine and stir until just blended.
This batter will be very stiff!!
Bake in either a well oiled 5 x 9 loaf pan or divide evenly between two smaller loaf pans.
Bake the larger loaf for about 1 1/4 hours or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
The smaller loafs take about 45 to 50 minutes. Check with a toothpick.
Let the loafs cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a rack and let them fully cool.
This bread keeps well for several days wrapped in foil.
Doubling the recipe yields five small loaves.