There are many recipes out there and many of them are perfectly fine. However, if you start looking more closely, you will definitely find some that are better than others.
This recipe has made me absolutely ecstatic, it’s that amazing. I’m not sure how I found it but it involved delving into recipes using those wonderful orange fruits called persimmons or trabzon hurması. You see them everywhere but you may not be sure what to do with them.
It is the season for persimmons right now in Turkey: they are on display in every manav or greengrocer, but sadly the vendors seem to be very ignorant as to the two different varieties.
Click here to find out more about hachiya and fuya. The recipe I include there is also excellent but I think this one has the edge.
For this one, you need 3 or 4 very, very fit-to-bust squishy hachiya persimmons. They resemble water-filled balloons about to explode and are the more common of the two varieties. All you do is peel them and then spoon out the pulp or indeed, simply use your hands. BTW this pulp freezes beautifully.
The quantity here makes two fantastic compact loaves. They are very seasonal not only because of the colourful main ingredient but also because they are so evocative of Christmas with the warm spicy fragrance that will waft through your kitchen as they cook.
This recipe comes from the ‘grandaddy of all cooks’, James Beard, as David Lebovitz describes him, so that’s probably why it is so sublime. But it couldn’t be more straightforward:
- 3½ cups sifted flour
- 1½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 to 2½ cups sugar
- 1 cup melted unsalted butter, cooled to room temperature
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
- ⅔ cup cognac, bourbon or whisky
- 2 cups persimmon pureé (from about 3-4 squishy-soft hachiya persimmons)
- 2 cups walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped
- 2 cups raisins, or diced dried fruits (such as apricots, cranberries, or dates)
- Butter your 2 loaf pans. Line the bottoms with a piece of parchment/greaseproof paper or dust with flour and tap out any excess.
- Pre-heat oven to 350° F/180°C degrees.
- Sift the first five ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
- Make a well in the centre then stir in the butter, eggs, alcohol, persimmon pureé then the nuts and raisins. NB Makes a fabulous batter!
- Pour into prepared pans.
- Bake 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Storage: will keep for about a week,if well-wrapped, at room temperature. The persimmon breads take well to being frozen, too.
Using the higher amount of sugar will produce a moister and, of course, sweeter bread