A while ago we started watching series shows with some friends. I think it started with Justified. We had watched the first season on Netflix streaming but we don’t have DISH or Direct TV so when the 2nd season started we were out of luck for probably six months before we could view it. But then we got talking with some close friends who were also hooked on Justified and they had DISH, woo hoo! They were recording season 2 and already had about four on their DVR. They invited us over for dinner and TV. We brought dessert and we all had a great time. A couple of weeks later we went back for two more episodes but this time we brought dinner and they did dessert.
A regular get-together was born.
Rules: One, no overly crazy cleaning, except maybe the bathroom. Two, no gourmet cooking, keep it simple. We alternate dinner and desserts. We’ve gotten through three seasons of Justified and the fourth starts this January. In between seasons we watched Longmire and started The Borgias. Since neither of us has Showtime we got The Borgias on disk from Netflix. Last night was the first episode of Season 3 and Pat and Dick were coming to our house with dinner in tow. We were on for dessert. With a persimmon sitting on the shelf just ready to burst Curt knew it was destined to become our sweet treat for the evening.
You may remember that we posted a short piece about persimmons several years ago. If not, you can refer to it here. Mostly, I like to eat persimmons as a fresh fruit – the Fuyu variety that is. The Hachiya variety is a whole different matter. If you try to eat them before they’re fully ripe you’ll be met with an astringent mouthful you won’t be able to swallow. Hachiya need to sit and slowly ripen to the point that they’re like a squishy orange/red water balloon. The skin turns almost translucent and the flesh is more like a soft jelly that a fruit. That’s what we had. I’m led to believe that some people let their Hachiya get to this stage and then cut or bite a small hole in the skin and suck the flesh out like a Slurpee, but not frozen.
In casting about for some recipe to use with this beautifully ripe but somewhat intractable fruit, I came upon a reference in a bread book by James Beard that had a Persimmon Bread recipe. It looked good and so, off I went.
Persimmon Bread (adapted from Beard on Bread by James Beard)
1-3/4 C. all-Purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. mace, ground
a few gratings of nutmeg
1 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 C. bourbon
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 very large, very ripe Hachiya persimmon, cored but not peeled, pureed, about 1 C.
1 C. coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 C. currants, plumped with 1/2 Tbs. bourbon
1 Tbs. coarse sugar (raw sugar, rock candy, or the like), broken into edible-sized pieces if necessary.
Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Make a depression in the center and add the melted butter, eggs, bourbon, pureed persimmon, nuts and currants. Mix the batter well, until there are no dry bits left. Butter and flour a 1 pound and a mini loaf pan. Fill them about 3/4 full with the batter. It’s pretty stiff, so use a spatula to make sure it gets into the corners. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake for 1 hour at 350˚ or until a skewer comes out clean. Let the loaves cool in the pans and then turn out onto a rack. Serve with fresh butter. Keeps wrapped for 1 to 2 weeks.
And for your viewing pleasure, we all recommend Justified, Longmire and The Borgias.