Tag Archives | walnut

Pumpkin Persimmon Walnut Bread

I know. Fall just started, and you’re already sick of pumpkin recipes. But I bet secretly you buy thick slices of pumpkin loaf and wolf it down at your desk when no one is looking. It’s OK, really. We’re meant to like pumpkin, especially when the colored leaves start dropping.

Now, I know “persimmon” might seem like a scary thing, even if you live in a place where they grow. It’s hard to know what to do with them if you’re unfamiliar, especially if you don’t have the brain-bursting soft variety. But these little hard ones, the fuyu persimmons, are darn sweet as well. In fact, they’re a good stand-in for apples, if you happen to like baking with apples. I find they are easiest to prepare for baking by slicing off the top, quartering, and then peeling each quarter with a paring knife before dicing.

Some like to put icing on tea breads, but to me that’s just taking things a little too far. Most tea (or “quick”) breads are already quite sweet, and I prefer to let the natural ingredients shine rather than pure sweetness. Walnuts are an excellent alternative, as the crunchy-yet-creamy nut is a nice contrast to the pumpkin and persimmon. I added nuts to both the batter and the top, resulting in a bread that is studded with hearty flavor, but you can just put the nuts on top or omit them altogether. Pepitas, pumpkin seeds, are a nice alternative if you don’t like nuts but still want some crunch.

I’m addicted to self-rising flour lately, but if you don’t have it, you can swap in regular flour, and be sure to add 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 3/4 teaspoon salt to your dry ingredients.

Pumpkin Persimmon Walnut Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil, such as grapeseed
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup diced fuyu persimmons (about 3-4)
  • 1 cup walnuts (about 3.5 ounces)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare a loaf pan. I like to use baking paper laid across in two perpendicular strips, as it doesn't require extra oil and makes cleanup easy.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together flour and spices. In a larger bowl, beat together pumpkin, oil, sugar, and eggs. Add flour mixture, a little at a time, until just mixed. Stir in persimmons.
  3. Chop the walnuts and reserve about 1/4. Fold 3/4 of the walnuts into the batter.
  4. Pour batter in the prepared pan and scatter the remaining walnut pieces on top.
  5. Bake for about 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
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Peach Walnut Bruschetta

I love things that require only a few ingredients. As the heat continues, and continues to steal my energy away, the ability to throw a few things together in little time has saved many meals. I mean, I have pages scribbled with recipe ideas, posts half-drafted and lacking only the food to tie it up in a bow. But being in the kitchen for more than 15 minutes at a time? Please. Give me some bread and toppings and I’ll be a happy girl.

Eating like this reminds me of our time in Paris. It’s not that we ever ate bruschetta there, but we chose to have many of our lunches on a park bench, sharing a baguette sandwich and fruit while we attempted to soak up the last of our pre-baby time. Simple meals bring me back to those afternoons of soaking up an early spring sun, wandering foreign streets, and being blissful in the moment.

I was really excited to see shallots in my produce delivery. I never had shallots until I was an adult, so whenever I see them at the grocery store they seem too extravagant to purchase. Now that my countertops are littered with shallots, I have plenty to experiment with. I’ve pulled together some of the last summer peaches, crunchy walnuts, and softened shallots for a topping that celebrates summer while looking forward to the autumn ahead.

Peach Walnut Bruschetta

1 large peach
3 shallots
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup walnuts
Sliced French bread

Halve, de-pit, and peel peach. Cut into small chunks and put into a bowl.
Heat a small saucepan over medium. Add olive oil and heat through. Peel shallots and slice thinly, then add to the pan. Lower heat to medium-low, and let shallots cook until soft.
Chop or crumble walnuts by hand and add to the shallots, gently toasting until fragrant. Remove from heat and stir mixture into peaches. Let sit for a moment while you toast the bread.
Top each slice of bread with a generous scoop.

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