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Persimmon Bread,

from the kitchen of Sharmagne Leland St. John

2 cups flour, sifted
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup cherries or cranberries, dried
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 cup persimmon pulp

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

With a fork, cream together the sugar and butter.  Add the eggs and then the flour and baking soda.  Mix well.  Add the persimmon pulp, pecans, and dried fruit.   Butter a loaf pan, pour mixture into pan. Bake for one hour or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Make sure your persimmons are ripe.  Many people do not like persimmons, because their first encounter with them was the never forgotten taste of an unripe persimmon stolen from a neighbour's tree.  Remember?  They make your tongue feel "furry"!

Persimmons can be frozen either with the skins still on or as a pulp. During the summer months I serve the frozen pulp as a sorbet.  Or use as a frozen daiquiri or margarita base.

You can also dehydrate them and store them on a shelf in the pantry or in the fridge.    They can be dried to a soft chewy consistency or a crackle hard round.  I put the harder ones into a coffee bean grinder and use them in recipes which call for Palm Sugar if it is unavailable.  

To dehydrate them without a commercial dehydrator, slice them into thin rounds and place them on a cookie sheet.  Put them into a slow oven over night.  (Set your oven to the lowest heat available.)

The star pattern on them makes them a good choice as a garnish for other dishes.

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