Hachiya Persimmon Tea Bread

If you purchased some hachiya persimmons anytime last week, then it’s the perfect time to make some Hachiya Persimmon Tea Bread.  These persimmons are hardly ever ripe and ready to eat on the day they are bought, because if they were, they wouldn’t be pretty and sellable.  When these persimmons are ripe, they look bruised and battered, feel squishy to the touch, and seem to be on the verge of spoiling.

The two most common types of persimmon are the Hachiya and Fuyu varieties.  Hachiya persimmons are the type that have an acorn like shape with a pointed base, and Fuyu persimmons appear round and squat, like a tomato.  For the Hachiya variety, you can either scoop out its soft fleshly pulp and eat it straight as you would a papaya or use the pulp in a baking recipe like this one!  If you mind uneven clumps of persimmmon in your pulp, then go ahead and use a food processor to blend the pulp into an even consistency (this is what I did).  Extra pulp can be stored and frozen in an airtight bag for easy use in future baking.

If you feel like your persimmons aren’t ripening fast enough, place them in a brown paper bag with a ripening banana or two and close the bag tightly.  The ethylene gas will help the persimmons to ripen faster.

Although the Hachiya variety is the superior choice for baking because of its texture, you can also use the more common Fuyu persimmons here, just make sure that you remove any seeds and only use the fruit that is very, very ripe.  Fuyu persimmons have a tendency to stay firm even when they are fully mature and ready to eat, so you may want to give them a longer whirl in the food processor to get a smooth pulp.

I highly recommend that you pair a slice of moist, lightly-spiced Persimmon Tea Bread with a hot cup of Korean Persimmon Leaf Tea.  This tea is made from the leaves of wild persimmon trees, and has as a delicate yet complex flavor.  Tea and fruit breads are always a beautiful match, and even more enjoyable when you can appreciate how the fruits’ flavors develop from tree leaf to ripened fruit.

Persimmon Tea Bread

Makes 1 loaf.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp baking soda

pinch salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 eggs, at room temperature

2 cups mashed hachiya persimmon pulp (from about 6 fully ripe persimmons)

2 tsp lemon juice

non-stick spray for pan

Equipment:

standard loaf pan

Directions:

1.)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray loaf pan with non-stick spray.  Mix together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt in large bowl and set aside.  In a medium bowl, mix together oil, sugar, and eggs.  Mix lemon juice into persimmon pulp.

2.)  Slowly mix wet mixture into dry mixture until the ingredients are just moistened.  Add persimmon-lemon pulp and mix in until all ingredients are just homogenous.

3.)  Bake filled loaf pan in oven for about an hour, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  After removing from oven, let the loaf sit in the pan for about 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.

Love persimmons?  Persimmon Leaf Tea is an Asian favorite, and you can get it at Korean tea shop Hwa Sun Ji in Los Angeles where dried, walnut-stuffed persimmons are served as tea-snacks!

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