Saturday, January 12, 2008

Persimmon Bars

My cousin in-law(?) made these bars a couple of thanksgiving dinners ago and I had been meaning to ask her for the recipe. When I finally did, I've been making them ever since--with RAVE reviews!! Thanks Naomi!

Persimmon Bars
Makes 32 bars

1 cup persimmon puree (*see below)
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp baking soda
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp 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
1 cup walnuts or pecans (3 1/2 oz), finely chopped

For glaze
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp finely grated fresh lemon zest (optional)

Preheat oven to 350*F. Butter and flour a 15x10-inch shallow baking pan (1 inch deep), knocking out excess flour.

Sift together flour, salt, and spices in another small bowl.

To 1 cup persimmon puree adding baking soda; set aside. (Mixture will become foamy, then jell slightly.) Whisk together egg, sugar, oil, and dates 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 25 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a rack.

Glaze & 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.

Bars keep in an airtight container 3 days.

*For persimmon puree: cut persimmons in half and scoop out pulp. Discard skin, seeds and stem. In a blender or food processor, blend pulp until smooth (you'll probably need 3-4 medium size persimmons for 1 cup puree. For each cup of puree, thoroughly stir in 1-1/2 tsp lemon juice. To store, freeze in 1-cup batches in freezer-proof containers.

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