My daughter in law gave me some gorgeous persimmons because she knows how much I love to bake with them. Since it is the Christmas Season, and it is nice to have a special treat to place on a party table, I would like to share with you Persimmon Bread with a Tres Leches Brandy Sauce. Inspiration for this bread recipe comes from a cookbook titled “Beard on Bread” by James Beard. I tweaked it a bit, but will give you a link for the cookbook below – which is one all bread lovers should have in their collection. The sauce is inspired by a recipe found in “Cuisine at Home” magazine.
Ingredients for Bread – yield is two loaves
3 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground mace
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 ¼ cups granulated sugar
1 cup melted butter (2 sticks)
2/3 cup orange juice
4 large or 8 small persimmons (enough to make 2 cups of puree)
1 cup coarsely chopped walnut
1 cup dried currants
Ingredients for the brandy sauce:
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz.)
1 can evaporated milk (12 oz.)
½ heavy cream
½ cup Brandy( a little more if you want a more intense flavor)
First, bring a pot of water to a boil. When you have a roiling boil, drop the persimmons into the water and remove the pot from the burner. Allow the persimmons to sit in the hot water for about 5 minutes. Then, remove the persimmons from the water to cool in a colander. Set aside.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
To a large mixing bowl add the sifted flour. Then, to the flour add the salt, baking soda, ground mace and cinnamon. Dry whisk vigorously to distribute the leaven and spices. Set aside.
Now, remove the green tops from the persimmons and quarter them. Place the quarters in the bowl of a food processor. Run on medium until the persimmons are pureed.
Then, to the persimmon puree add the eggs, sugar, melted butter and orange juice. Run the food processor on medium for about a minute to beat the eggs and incorporate all ingredients.
Now, pour the wet mixture from the food processor over the dry mixture in the mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, gently combine. Scrape the sides and bottom.
Then, using a large spoon fold the chopped walnuts and currants into the batter.
Now, pour the batter into buttered or lined baking pans. I am using one standard loaf pan, and a fluted brioche pan. In fact, I had extra batter so I filled 8 muffin cups and set the muffin tin aside until the bread loaves were finished baking - then I placed the muffins in the oven to finish up the batter.
Bake bread loaves for 1 hour in a 350 F. degrees oven. When loaves are done, remove from oven and cool in pans for 5 minutes. Then turn the loaves out and finish cooling on a wire rack.
While loaves are cooling, make the brandy sauce.
This sauce is very simple but needs babysitting to prevent scorching. Be prepared to not walk away from it. Two things are key to its success: Use a large saucepan. With the larger cooking surface area, the mixture will reduce a little faster and be less prone to boiling over. Next, stir the sauce constantly!!!!
Combine the condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream, and brandy in a large sauce pan over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Bring mixture to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and continue simmering and stirring until reduced to about 2 cups. This may take as long as 25 – 30 minutes.
Slice the bread and enjoy with the brandy sauce spooned over it.
Link for cookbook: Beard on Bread
Link for magazine: Cuisine at Home Magazine