As the season has turned and holiday celebrations are upon us, the beautiful shades and tonalities of the produce at my market have noticeably shifted. The bounty is now filled with walnuts, pecans, chestnuts, dried apricots, golden raisins, clementines, a vast assortment of candied fruits for which the region is famous.
Perhaps most spectacular, these deeply rich orange persimmons abound. I had never tasted a persimmon before, however they were far too beautiful to simply not try. As I was inexperienced in their use I looked to a James Beard recipe and a friend, along with the inspiring colors and flavors abounding in the market to create this absolutely delicious (and super easy!!!) Holiday Persimmon Loaf which I encourage you to try this wintery weekend if you too find yourself standing over a basket of “the fruit of the gods” and wonder just what to do with these orange tinted beauties.
Creates two 9-inch Loaves
4 cups sifted flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground mace (substitute nutmeg if necessary)
2 cups sugar
1 cup melted butter (French butter is soooo good if you can get it!!!!)
4 large eggs lightly beaten
1 cup Armagnac
2 cups persimmon puree (from 4-5 extremely ripe soft persimmons)
2 cups toasted walnuts
1 cup golden raisins
Butter 2 loaf pans and dust them with flour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Make a well in the centre and slowly stir in the butter, eggs, liquor, persimmon puree.
Stir in the walnuts and raisins.
Bake for 1 hour.