Drunk on Baking (Which is Almost Like High on Life)

Say “hachiya” and folks might think you’ve got a head cold… The Hachiya persimmon has a funny name, it looks a little funny, and don’t you dare eat it unless it’s completely ripe or it’ll taste more than funny! How do you know when it’s ripe? Well, that’s funny too–a ripe Hachiya feels like a water balloon, all squishy rolling around in your hand. Persimmons, unlike money, grow on trees with ripe fruits that are sweet, soft, and a little chewy. They look a little like an orange tomato, a very seasonally appropriate shade of orange. And they make for great bread.

This recipe is adapted from David Lebovitz‘s adaptation of James Beard’s recipe, so it’s post-postmodern? Heh. Lebovitz’s recipe is for two loaves but I only had persimmons enough to make 1 loaf so I halved the recipe…but forgot to halve the bourbon! Now that I’ve sobered up, below is a recipe with corrected measurements for you. Remember if you are at high altitude that you may need to adjust the baking soda.

Bourbon Cherry Persimmon Bread
–1 3/4 cups sifted flour
–1 tsp salt
–1 tsp baking soda
–1 tsp ground nutmeg
–1 1/4 cup sugar
–1/2 cup butter (unsalted), melted
–2 large eggs, lightly beaten
–2 shots bourbon (3 ounces)
–2 ripe Hachiya persimmons, pureed
–1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
–1 cup dried cherries

Grease a bread loaf pan. Line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (this also may need to be adjusted for altitude).

Sift the flour, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Create a well in the center and stir in the butter, followed by the eggs, bourbon, and persimmon puree. Mix in the nuts and cherries.
Bake 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
Dammit Jim, I’m not a doctor…
Time: 1 & 1/2 hours
Serves: 1 loaf = 12 slices
Calories: 360 per slice

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