In his introduction to this recipe James Beard comments,"Persimmons grow in many countries of the world, but often, as in France, they are left hanging on the trees. In this country we have learned to appreciate their superb deep-orange color, their shape, and their delicious flavor... In earlier times they were allowed to ripen on the trees until dead ripe before being eaten raw or used for puddings, cookies, and breads. Nowadays they show up in our markets in a firm state and must be left at room temperature for several days or a week to ripen until they are almost mushy."
3 1/2 cups flour 1 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon salt 4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons baking soda 2/3 cup Cognac or Bourbon
1 teaspoon nutmeg 2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts & raisins (optional)
2 cups granulated sugar 2 cups persimmon puree from about 4 medium, very
ripe persimons—not necessary to peel
Sift all five dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Then make a well in the center and add the melted butter, eggs, Bourbon (I always use Bourbon instead of Cognac, which gives the bread a je ne sais quoi magical quality), persimmon puree, and if you like, the nuts and raisins. Mix the dough until it is quite smooth. Butter two 9X5X3" loaf pans, or four smaller molds, and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Cool the loaves in the pans and turn out on a rack.
Note: Wrap in foil after cooling. They will keep nicely from 1 to 2 weeks