A plethora of persimmons
When persimmons are in season our local papers are full of recipes from pudding cake, nutted persimmons, sweet potatoes with persimmons, to persimmon chutney. I have made most of them but I'm leaving for Germany on Wednesday. I will freeze some of my ripe persimmons and hope that the ones that are not ripe will last until I return. Back to my persimmon bread, it is loved and shared with all my friends, especially those who supply me with persimmons. The different spices give it a wonderful flavor. I baked it a couple of days ago and still enjoying it, even though I forgot to add sugar. Oops or a blessing, I don't know? All my friends and even my husband who has a distinct sweet tooth enjoyed the sugarless version. I realized my mistake when I put the bread in the in the oven and sprinkled some sugar over them. I recommend you add ½ to 1 cup of sugar even though the persimmons and raisin add a natural sweetness. I also like baking them in small cake forms because they freeze well and make nice gifts. You can bake them in a regular rectangular bread form.
Here in California we are blessed with persimmons this time of the year. Originally cultivated in Japan and China for centuries, this fruit now is grown in Italy and other Mediterranean countries and here in the USA. I fell in love with them when I moved to California. They are tasty, fun to eat, and an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. I can bore you with all the nutritional facts but believe me these lovely bright orange colored fruits are loaded with all sorts of good stuff like anti-oxidants, minerals, you name it, and they taste fantastic. Persimmon season runs from November to February and it is not difficult to find somebody with a tree that is willing to share the bounty. I have several friends who always share with me. There are several varieties, in this recipe I'm using the acorn-shaped Hachiya persimmons. The Hachiya needs to be eaten when they are soft as jelly, otherwise you encounter a bitter, pucker-your-mouth effect. I usually get them when they are hard and I put them on a plate to ripen. It makes me happy when I share my home with them. I use them in smoothies or just purée them with a banana and a little lemon juice and end up with a healthy and tasty treat. Once ripened the Hayicha has a short shelf life, but they are easy to freeze by peeling and blending them in a food processor or blender with lemon juice. You will loose the beautiful orange color. I also like the smaller, rounder Fuyu persimmon which can be eaten when they feel like a hard peach. I slice them and put them in salads.
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