Monday, November 19, 2012

Creating warmth with lemony persimmon bars

A persimmon is a fruit that happens to be low in calories and fat and contains a load of dietary fiber. Aside from that, persimmons contain anti-oxidants like catechins which are best known for their anti-inflammatory properties. They are also a great source of vitamin A, C and B-complex vitamins. If you haven't had a persimmon yet, you are in for a treat! Now that they are in season, I make these lemon-glazed Persimmon Bars that I found on the Epicurious website. I changed a couple of things, but, this recipe is perfect for this time of year. Think about having these the day after Thanksgiving -- like with coffee in the morning.....

The asterisks (**) reflect changes that I made. Substituting all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour gives a nice flavor dimension while at the same time adding the healthful grain that contains fiber, minerals and vitamins. Although dates are good for you, I left them out because the recipe is sweet enough without them; I've made this recipe with dates and without and those that have tried both recipes preferred without dates.

adding healthful grains into their diet, and one great way to do this is by substituting whole wheat flour for white flour in your recipes. Whole grains are far better for you because they have more fiber, minerals and vitamins.

Read more: How to Substitute Whole-Wheat Flour for White |
Lemon-Glazed Persimmon Bars
For bars
3 very ripe (very soft) Hachiya persimmons (1 1/4 lb total)
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour **(I did 3/4 cup all-purpose flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 large egg
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup loosely packed dried pitted dates (5 oz), finely chopped **(I left the dates out just because the bars are already pretty sweet without them)
1 cup walnuts or pecans (3 1/2 oz), finely chopped

For glaze
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
**For the glaze, I also added about 1 to 2 tsp. of water to make the glaze easier to spread.

Make bars:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 15- by 10-inch shallow baking pan (1 inch deep), knocking out excess flour.

Discard dried green or brown calyx (stem and leaves) from each persimmon, then force persimmons 1 at a time through a medium-mesh sieve into a bowl, using a rubber spatula to press hard on solids (discard solids). Transfer 1 cup purée to a small bowl (discard remainder) and stir in lemon juice and baking soda. (Mixture will become foamy, then jell slightly.)
Sift together flour, salt, and spices in another small bowl.

Whisk together egg, sugar, and oil in a large bowl until just combined. Add flour mixture and persimmon mixture alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and stirring until just combined. Stir in nuts.

Spread batter evenly in baking pan and bake until golden brown and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a rack.

Glaze and cut bars:
Stir together all glaze ingredients until smooth, then spread over top of cooled cake. Cut crosswise into 8 strips, then lengthwise into fourths, for a total of 32 bars.
I took this picture too late, this was the very last of the bars! They did not last long, but that is a good sign, right? Anyway, enjoy....

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