Here in Portugal, much like the rest of the northern hemisphere, it's autumn. But it doesn't look like autumn yet. The leaves are still green from the summer weather and some days the temperature is in the 80's F, but every once in a while it feels a bit more like autumn with a crisp bite in the air that makes you want to pull on a sweater and drink a nice hot cup of coffee or tea.
I personally enjoy having a muffin or a slice of sweet quick bread like banana bread with my coffee/tea (Usually coffee. I'm from the Pacific Northwest, it's what we drink). We don't have a banana tree here, but we do have a persimmon tree. Actually two, and they are different varieties. Which means we have a lot of persimmons. Not just a few, but so many that I can't use them all because I can't come up with enough ways to use them.
I'm also not fond of persimmons on their own. They strike me as sickeningly sweet by themselves and don't have a tartness to cut it. But, like I said, we have so many that I don't want to let them go to waste and they are pretty good for you too despite the overly sweet factor. Which brings me back to quick breads.
During the summer I made my first zucchini bread (courgette) which gave me the idea to try and do the same with these persimmons. You can do so much with quick breads using herbs and spices that it seemed like a great way to use up the fruits and be a way to find a taste profile that would be more appealing.
The verdict? Cinnamon and nutmeg spices it just right to cut the sweet and give an aroma and flavor that tastes like autumn. Made healthy with the use of whole wheat flour and honey, this is a perfect bread to go with that cup of coffee on a cool morning.
- 1 apple or pear, pureed. About 1/2 cup (120ml)
- 1 egg, white and yolk separated
- 2 egg whites
- 1 cup (250ml) honey
- 1 1/2 cup (350ml) mashed very ripe persimmons, skins removed
- 1 cup (250ml) whole wheat flour
- 1 cup (250ml) oats
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon (2ml) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons (10ml) nutmeg
- pinch of salt
In a bowl mix together pureed apple/pear, egg yolk, sugar, mashed persimmons, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with an electric mixer and set aside.
Whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Alternate adding the flour and whipped egg whites to the persimmon mixture, stirring well before each addition.
Pour batter into lightly oiled bread pan and bake at 350F (175C) 40-50 minutes for cake/bread or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes before removing from pan and another 10- 15 before serving.
Slice and serve warm with a bit of creamy butter spread lightly on top with your choice of hot coffee or tea.
Tip: To cleanly remove the persimmon flesh from the skin, cut the fruit in half from top (the green stem) to bottom. Take a spoon and scoop out the fruit and toss out the stem and skin.