Day 119: Persimmon Walk!

Today is Day 119 of the Papa’s Walk Challenge!  

As I started my walk it was foggy and dreary until I noticed something that lit up the landscape – persimmons!  The bright orange globes hanging from tree branches brightened the hachiya persimmonsscenery and my frame of mind.

Did you know that the persimmon tree is native to China? It was brought to California in 1870, where it proliferated. Learn more about persimmons at the UC Davis Fruit and Nut Education website.

The first tree I spotted had Fuyu persimmons. Fuyus have a slightly flattened spherical shape. They sort of resemble pumpkins. This is the variety that tastes best raw because it doesn’t have as much tannic acid as other varieties.

All of the rest of the trees I saw had Hachiya persimmons. Their perfect acorn shape is more attractive, but they’re practically inedible raw. They are very astringent and will make your mouth pucker and coat your tongue so that it feels dry and yucky. They are best when the pulp is used to bake cookies, breads, and puddings. Here are some recipes to try…

Papa’s Favorite Persimmon Bread

A co-worker gave this recipe to me in 1981. I make it whenever a neighbor shares their persimmon harvest. Papa enjoyed this baked goodieThis recipe makes two 9-inch loaves – one for you, and one for your Papa. 🙂

Ingredients

1 cup seedless raisins
½ cup of brandy (or use warm water)
2 cups dark brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup white sugar
2 cups ripe Hachiya persimmon pulp
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon powdered ginger
1 cup chopped pecans
Butter for pans
Flour for pans

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Soak raisins in brandy (or water) until they plump and set aside. Mix together the sugars with the persimmon pulp and oil. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift together the dry ingredients and add to egg mixture, blending well. Add raisins and pecans. Pour into 2 buttered and floured loaf pans. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a  toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool on rack for 10 minutes. Then, remove loaves from pans, and allow loaves to cool completely on racks. Serve with a dollop of whip cream.

You may also enjoy these recipes…

BONUS!  Learn How to Predict The Weather with a Persimmon Seed at the Old Farmer’s Almanac Website. Have fun!

 

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