Persimmons & Passion Fruit

It all began with these fuyu persimmons. The sad thing about persimmons is that when they are really perfectly ripe, no one wants to buy them. They are squishy, gooey, bruised looking, and all around ugly - yet their flavor at this point is divine. Sweet, rich, and creamy.......I try not to use cliches very often, but "nectar of the gods" comes to minds.

I bought these at a discount from my produce department because no one else wanted them. Lucky me.

This just in: food mills are awesome. I never knew how much I needed one until I got one. Now I don't know if I could get by without it. This is what the persimmons looked like after a run through the mill.

Persimmon Bread. This recipe has James Beard's name attached to it, so I figured it must be good. It also uses a TON of butter - another good sign. I used whole wheat flour, fresh grated nutmeg, pecans, dried cranberries, Costa Rican rum instead of cognac, and the full 2 1/2 cups of sugar. Persimmon adds a wonderful moist rich flavor to baked goods like this one.

Passion Fruit: another ugly duckling of the produce aisle. The rich sweetness of the persimmon is just begging for some tang for balance, and these babies are just the thing. From the outside, they look like there must be something wrong with them. As they ripen, the smooth purple fruit turn wrinkly. They are incredibly light to the touch, leading one to believe that there couldn't be much of interest inside.

The flavor is incredible. Tangy like citrus, but more complex and aromatic. Yum. Sadly, they don't get their name from passionate love... no, their beautiful flower reminded some missionary of the passion of the Christ. Don't ask me to explain that one, 'cause honestly I just don't get it.

Food mill to the rescue once again. This handy tool easily and quickly sorted the hard crunchy seeds from the flavorful juice.

I whipped the passion fruit juice with cream cheese and powdered sugar to make this thick sauce.

If I had a better camera this would look more appetizing - just ignore the weird green hue. Moist sweet persimmon bread topped with tangy and refreshing passion fruit icing. November doesn't get any better than this.
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