Persimmon Pudding Cake

Hachiya persimmons can bake up into a delicious, moist cake that is almost pudding-like. Because of the natural sweetness of the pulp from ripe hachiya persimmons, this recipes uses only half a cup of added sugar!

Hachiya Persimmons

Acorn-shaped Hachiya persimmons

Persimmons are a fruit of fall, displaying their bright orange orbs right around the time a chill sets in and trees begin to lose their leaves.

They come in two varieties—Fuyu and Hachiya—with very different properties. Fuyu persimmons are short and squat, looking a bit like tomatoes; they are meant to be peeled, sliced, and eaten like apples.

Hachiya (those pictured are Hachiya) are larger than the Fuyu and are acorn shaped. They need to ripen completely before you eat them. An unripe hachiya? Eating one is ann experience you’ll never forget, or do again, they are so mouth puckering astringent.

Squeezing a ripe hachiya persimmon

When a Hachiya persimmon behaves like a seriously overripe tomato (completely soft to the touch all around) and its insides are a slurry, that’s when they can be opened, and the sweet pulp spooned out and eaten.

One makes baked goods with the pulp from Hachiya persimmons. For convenience the pulp can be frozen in one or two cup batches.

Hachiya persimmon pulp

  • Prep: 15 minutes
  • Cook: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of ripe Hachiya persimmon pulp
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup chopped nuts - pecans or walnuts
  • Whipping cream

Method

1 Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, mix the persimmon pulp, sugar, eggs, butter, milk and vanilla.

2 In a separate bowl vigorously whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.

3 Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, a third at a time, fully incorporating after each addition. Add the chopped nuts.

4 Bake in a square glass pan, buttered, at 400°F until done (about 50 minutes).

Top with a dollop of whipped cream.

Links:

Harold McGee on why persimmon pudding turns brown - article in the New York Times, it has to do with the alkaline environment encouraging browning reactions

Harold's recipe for 2-toned persimmon pudding

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