Triple Ginger Persimmon Loaf

Simple, but special. Longer, tapered Hachiya persimmons get softer—and more quickly—than the rounder, smaller Fuyus, but both can work. Just make sure they’re really soft. If you need to, blitz the scooped flesh in a blender or food processor. If persimmons aren’t in season, you can substitute one pound of very ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and puréed in a food processor until smooth. (Or 1 cup canned pumpkin). 

¾ cup vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the pan

3 medium (1 pound) very ripe persimmons, preferably Hachiya variety*

2 large eggs

¼ cup water

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

1 cup sugar

1¾ cups all-purpose flour 

1½ teaspoons baking soda

¾ teaspoon fine sea salt

¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg 

½ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1 tablespoon chopped crystallized ginger, plus more for topping the loaf (optional)

1½ teaspoons freshly grated ginger 

Labneh or cream cheese, for serving

 

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with vegetable oil and line with parchment paper.

2. Cut off the tops of the persimmons. Scoop the ripe flesh into a large bowl and mash it with a fork or potato masher until very smooth, or puree in a food processor or blender for 10 seconds. 3. Whisk in the ¾ cup vegetable oil, the eggs, water, vanilla, and sugar until well blended. 

4. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Stir the dry ingredients into the persimmon mixture until just blended, then gently fold in the crystallized ginger and the fresh ginger. 

5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, top with additional candied ginger, if desired, and bake until the loaf is a deep burnished brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool the loaf completely in the pan, then slice and serve with labneh or cream cheese.

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