Appalachia Appalachian Food

Persimmon Bread

The best asian persimmon bread recipe
Since Wofford College is in Jim Casada’s neck of the woods, he came to watch the show we did there at the end of October. Even better than that, he came carrying gifts-two baskets of Asian Persimmons from the trees in his yard.

Asian persimmons have to be soft too

The only persimmons I had ever eaten were the ones that grow wild around my mountain holler. Jim explained to me the persimmons he gave me needed to be soft and squishy before eaten, just like the wild ones.

How to make persimmon bread

I wanted to make a bread or muffin with some of the persimmons once they were ripe. I stumbled upon James Beard’s recipe on this blog. You can jump over and print the recipe out if you’d like. The only changes I made were: using apple juice instead of alcohol, I used only 2 cups of sugar, and I used a mixture of raisins and craisins for the fruit.

The bread is delicious-it’s very dense and moist and goes perfectly with a hot cup of coffee or a cold glass of milk. I’m positive you could make the recipe with the persimmons that grow throughout Appalachia and beyond. But wow are the Asian variety easier to fool with-so much bigger and no seed to worry about either!

Tipper

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17 Comments

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    November 12, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Tipper,
    We had only forty persimmons last year and this year we had 35 gallons on one tree ..Lady our Puppy ruined our other tree when she was little and boy did she love to eat them when they ripened. I am planning on making persimmons bread for Thanksgiving. I have canned them like applesauce and made cookie with them. Truman got our trees in Texas, so many people here in the mountain only saw wild persimmons. We have shared these with so many others and I think I am going to cann some. Thanks for sharing the bread reciept with us. I would imagion a cup of brown sugar would be good in them as well.(cut the heat back of cource with all the butter.
    Mary Lou McKillip

  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    November 7, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    I’ve never had a persimmon. It looks absolutely scrumptious.
    We’re getting a cold snap here in the NC sand hills. Don’t know if this is REAL fall settling in, or if an Indian Summer will roll back through again.
    Such it is in NC, isn’t it. LOL
    God bless.
    RB
    <><

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    November 7, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Persimmon pulp is a staple in our house. We always have a supply in the freezer. We make persimmon pudding, persimmon cookies and other things. Our favorite is persimmon cheesecake. Oh, what a delicacy.
    Always a treat to see a Jim Casada article on your site, Tipper.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    November 7, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Tipper–For B. Ruth and other readers who wondered about the types of Asian persimmons. I have one Fuyu tree (persimmons are somewhat flat in shape and slightly larger than my other tree, which is a Hachiya (fruit is oblong and somewhat egg-shaped). There are several other varieties as well.
    You can find the trees through various on-line speciality growers. I think I got mine from Ison’s, which is best known for its muscadine grapes.
    I should have noted that the fruit is fine eaten raw (like wild persimmons though, just be sure it’s ripe).
    Jim Casada
    P. S. At some point I want to try a persimmon custard. If you or readers have suggestions, they would be most welcome.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    November 7, 2016 at 11:34 am

    My son in California sends me persimmons every Christmas!

  • Reply
    Ken
    November 7, 2016 at 11:03 am

    Tipper,
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO BILLY GRAHAM ON HIS 98TH BIRTHDAY!
    That was a nice gift Jim brought you. I remember when I was little and posseum hunting in that big field above the house, daddy showed me and my brother those
    wild Persimmons to eat. He also said if they weren’t ripe, they’ed make a pig squeel.
    Those wildfires are everywhere! It’s hard to breathe of the mornings and I saw suit all over my Jeep as I got in to come to work. I noticed cars with their headlights on this morning and the Sun was very dim. My friend was trout fishing yesterday and saw 4 helicopters in a line pouring water from those Giant Buckets they filled from Nantahala Lake. The mountains are on fire across from the Nantahala Quarry and it’s steeper than a Mule’s Face…Ken

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    November 7, 2016 at 10:45 am

    I worked for a wholesale grocery distributor for almost forty years and have known about Asian persimmons for most of that time. Yes, they are bigger and easier to work with but I am repulsed by them as much as their smaller native cousins. I realize it’s something wrong with me but nonetheless I can’t bring myself to eat it. It’s not a phobia, I am not afraid of them. It’s just they have a color and texture I don’t prefer. Pumpkin, winter squash, sweet potatoes and cooked carrots all fall in the same category.
    The wild persimmon trees around here are absolutely limb breaking with fruit. Possums are going to have a field day. Bear and deer too but to a lesser extent. Black bears can climb but can’t get out on the limbs where best fruits hang. Poor deer have to wait until the fruit falls and then compete for it on the ground.

  • Reply
    Cheryl Soehl
    November 7, 2016 at 10:04 am

    We always had a persimmon tree in our yard (planted by my father) growing up. The one Pop planted in the yard of the house I live in now was lost in a storm many years ago. There are two trees on the road right of way near my house that I am sure no one is harvesting. Keep meaning to go by and collect some now that we are having some cold nights. Perhaps it’s time to plant one of those Asian varieties so that I have them near to hand. I understand that persimmon tea is very good for you!

  • Reply
    dolores
    November 7, 2016 at 9:26 am

    I don’t remember ever eating a persimmon. I noticed the jellied part, but there are a lot of seeds in the fruit. Are the seeds safe to eat? I have seen them in a store in FL, but never purchased them.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    November 7, 2016 at 9:14 am

    Tipper,
    The recipe sounds wonderful. The only thing I remember making when I was a teenage girl at home was persimmon pudding. Mom made muffins, I think it was, one year. Dad didn’t like either! Sooo, to discourage Mom he said he hoped she washed the “polecat and possum pee” off before she baked them! Don’t remember Mom going to the trouble of gathering, washing, seeding, etc. again! The next year or two after a hard frost, Dad would come in and say, the “possum fruit” is ready, if you want to start bakin’ again! If he had been craving a muffin of any kind he wouldn’t have got one after that snarky remark! ha He hated buttermilk and cheese too, so we never told him that was in any recipe until he “went on” about how good the cake, pie or bread tasted! ha
    We looked around one year for Asian Persimmons after seeing one with fruit that was nearly big as apples. It was beautiful, not growing in our county though. We did buy a couple of Fig trees. They were supposed to be for growing in our zone and basically freeze proof. We mulched, but they didn’t last but a couple of years. We did have one tiny fig, but it dropped off before ripening.
    What is the name of Jim’s persimmon trees?
    Thanks for the recipe and post,
    PS A good friend bearing gifts is always a pleasant surprise!

  • Reply
    Janice McCall
    November 7, 2016 at 9:01 am

    If I ever get up your way, I’ll bring you a loaf of my Persimmon Bread. A friend of ours father-in-law was the Extension Agent for our county. Many years ago, he grafted Asian persimmons to native persimmon stock in his pasture. The fruits are seedless, very large and so flavorful. They do have to be squishy.
    I edited my banana nut bread recipe to create my persimmon bread. It’s sorta similar to Beard’s except I use more persimmon pulp, no raisins, no bourbon, oil instead of butter, vanilla extract and cinnamon in addition to freshly grated nutmeg, and buttermilk. 3 c. sugar and 3 c. large chop walnuts. Flour, salt & soda are the same.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    November 7, 2016 at 8:28 am

    Humm, I have never eaten a persimmon on my life, if someone made this bread I just might try it. I don’t remember seeing them around here.

  • Reply
    Shirl
    November 7, 2016 at 8:21 am

    Never heard of Asian Persimmons. No seeds? That would make using them in recipes so much easier. My friend used to make persimmon bars and persimmon pudding that was so good. I would still have to go in the woods for the wild fruit and use their seeds for the most accurate winter weather predictions anywhere.

  • Reply
    Jack
    November 7, 2016 at 8:05 am

    Looks tasty! Speaking of which, the photos you post are always well composed and add a lot to the info.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    November 7, 2016 at 8:00 am

    Very timely, just now hitting temps to take the pucker out of the persimmons. Our neighbor across the road has a tree with lots. They just need a frost.
    Your variation on the recipe sounds just right for fall in Appalachia and just in time for Thanksgiving. We have four good fall choices; apple, sweet potato, pumpkin and persimmon and maybe candy roaster. Throw in raisins as you did, some black walnuts and a spice mix and it is a meal and dessert in one.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    November 7, 2016 at 7:57 am

    Tipper–Glad you liked the persimmon bread. As you note, it’s moist and rich, almost reminiscent of fruit cake. If you have any of the fruit left, you might want to try making a persimmon pudding as well. I’ll send a recipe if you need one.
    For your readers who might want to trying growing Asian persimmons, there are several varieties. All are quite large (size of a small to medium apple) and based on my experience they are easy to grow and produce quite quickly (I bought two-year-old trees and in four years I had my first fruit). I’ve given the trees no care whatsoever other than a bit of fertilizer the first year and water until they were established.
    This year, the fifth I’ve had them, my two trees produced over a bushel of fruit.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 7, 2016 at 7:51 am

    The bread was wonderful. I already ate the slices the girls brought over. I thought it was absolutely perfect, right amount of everything and the texture was very nice. You need to hold on to that recipe.
    I’ve never heard of Asian Persimmons, guess we need to start looking for a tree and see if we can grow them here!

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