The cold, the winter, the holidays—lazy. What better time to honor others in the blogosphere than when you are too lazy to write your own blog. This blog was inspired by an Instagram post from my friends at Mezcalistas, Baking with Mezcal.
Today’s experiment in baking with mezcal – a spiced persimmon bread. Recipe from James Beard. Mezcal replaces the bourbon/cognac. It came out pretty tasty, mostly because the persimmons were so damn good (and ripe). Mezcalistas
I have some friends who grow fresh vegetables, fruit, and nuts—something I am absolutely no good at no matter how hard I try. One of the consolations for those of us who are not too keen on the Christmas Holidays is that friends like mine inevitably come around not with gold, frankincense and myrrh but with something much more practical like persimmons and walnuts.
Five years ago I transferred my financial advisory business to a good friend in the business. Just before the transfer took place, I baked some persimmon cookies for my friend to celebrate the consummation of the deal we worked out. Even though I once had a restaurant, I’m not the best cook and my baking skills are minimal. Never-the-less the cookies were a hit.
As it turns out, the new financial advisor is, as I am, a fan of mezcal. We sipped mezcal with the cookies. Everything grew brighter, happier and more intense with the mezcal. This seems to be a common experience. While the cookies were acceptable, the Persimmon Bread flavored with mezcal is even more delicious. Here is the James Beard recipe courtesy of david leboitz.
James Beard’s Amazing Persimmon Bread Recipe Using Mezcal
Two 9-inch (23cm) Loaves
Using the higher amount of sugar will produce a moister and, of course, sweeter bread. Adapted from Beard on Bread by James Beard.
3 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 to 2 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup melted unsalted butter and cooled to room temperature
4 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
2/3 cup Cognac, bourbon or whiskey
2 cups persimmon puree (from about 4 squishy-soft Hachiya persimmons)
2 cups walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped
2 cups raisins, or diced dried fruits (such as apricots, cranberries, or dates)
Butter 2 loaf pans. Line the bottoms with a piece of parchment paper or dust with flour and tap out any excess.
Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC) degrees.
Sift the first 5 dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Make a well in the center then stir in the butter, eggs, liquor, persimmon puree then the nuts and raisins.
Bake 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.