I’ve had a lifelong love for persimmons. Every year, they’d come in to season just around my birthday and my mom would surprise me with a basket of them. So now, they remind me of October, the start of fall, and well, my mother’s love.
This year, I ended up with a crazy amount of persimmons, and I couldn’t possibly eat them all, so a few ended up a little overripe and squishy. That convinced me to purée them and turn them into bread. By the way, don’t you love how bread is often a euphemism for cake? Ex: Banana bread, zucchini bread, pumpkin bread. It’s just a way to justify eating cake for breakfast. And I am all about that.
Anyway, most dessert recipes with persimmon will tell you to use super ripe Hachiya persimmons. That will work great, but so will overripe Fuyu persimmons, which is what I used. While Fuyu persimmons usually start out crisp as an apple, leave them for a week or two and they’ll be as soft as a Hachiya.
This bread has a delightful dense and moist texture, as is typical with persimmon bread. It almost reminds me of a British Christmas pudding. I personally love eating it toasted alongside a cup of coffee or tea. I bet it would also be great as a base for French toast (see this recipe for an eggless way to make French toast).
If you’re not a fan of persimmons or just don’t have any available, you can use pumpkin purée or mashed banana instead and make a pumpkin or banana bread. Either would be delicious.
If you want to make a vegan version, simply swap soy milk for the milk and either omit the cream cheese swirl or use a vegan cream cheese like Miyoko’s.
Ingredients – persimmon puree
- 3 large overripe Fuyu or Hachiya persimmons (should be squishy to the touch), roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup water
Ingredients – persimmon bread
- 1 1/2 cups persimmon purée
- 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup neutral oil (grape seed, canola, vegetable)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flaxseed meal + 1 tablespoon water, mixed)
- 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
- 1 3/4 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
- 2 tablespoons crystallized ginger, minced (optional)
Ingredients – cream cheese swirl
- 8 ounce pack cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a loaf pan and line with parchment paper so it’s easier to remove the bread later.
- Make purée by blending persimmons and water in a high speed blender.
- Using a stand mixer or mixing bowl + hand blender, gently whip together cream cheese, granulated sugar and cornstarch at low speed until smooth. This is easier if your cream cheese is at room temperature. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together wet ingredients: persimmon purée, brown sugar, oil, milk, flax egg, and orange zest.
- In a separate bowl, using a sieve, sift together dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger powder, and cardamom powder.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in your crystallized ginger. Avoid over mixing, as this will cause your bread to rise and fall in the middle.
- Pour bread batter into your loaf pan. Add cream mixture and create pretty swirls using a butter knife.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 60-65 minutes. Check the bread when your kitchen starts smelling good. Test it by inserting a toothpick or cake tester in the center of the cake and seeing if it comes out clean.
- Once you remove it, let the bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then loosen the edges with a plastic butter knife and invert it onto a large plate. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 days.
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