Persimmon Pudding Cake

Hachiya persimmons can bake up into a delicious, moist cake that is almost a pudding. This recipe takes only a half cup of added sugar and uses the sweetness of the persimmon pulp.

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Left: unripe Hachiya persimmons; Right: ripe 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. The Fuyu persimmons are short and squat, looking a little like tomatoes; they are meant to be peeled, sliced, and eaten like apples. Hachiya (those pictured are Hachiya) are larger than the Fuyu and somewhat acorn shaped. They need to ripen completely.

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When the 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.

Ingredients

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

Method

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

2 In a separate bowl mix the flour, sugar, 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.

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