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 recipe uses only half a cup of added sugar!
What Are 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 (like those pictured) are larger than the Fuyu and are acorn shaped. They need to ripen completely before you eat them. An unripe hachiya? Eating one is an experience you'll never forget, or do again, they are so mouth puckering astringent.
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.
One makes baked goods with the pulp from Hachiya persimmons. For convenience, the pulp can be frozen in one- or two-cup batches.
What Do Persimmons Taste Like?
Persimmons have a sweet, mild, and rich taste. Fuyu are firm with a thick skin that should be peeled. They are a little slippery, but sweet. They should be eaten when still firm but ripe.
Hachiyas must be soft to be edible. Their flesh has been compared to the taste of honey, although their flavor is not quite like honey, but just as sweet.
Both types of persimmons must be ripe to be eaten, or you'll get a very unpleasant mouthful of dry sensation.
Will American Persimmons Work in This Cake?
Yes! American persimmons (Diospyros virginiana) are smaller than hachiya persimmons (Diospyros kaki “Hachiya”). However, like their hachiya cousins, they are only edible when they are very soft.
These persimmons are native to North America and grow throughout the eastern and central United States. Persimmon puddings like this one are especially beloved in the Midwestern states.
Why Does Persimmon Pudding Turn Dark?
Persimmon pulp is bright orange. But after baking, this pudding will turn dark brown. Don't worry! That's perfectly normal.
It's the reaction between the pigments in the persimmon and the alkaline baking soda in the batter that creates this browning. If you're wanting a more golden-colored persimmon pudding cake, delete the baking soda and use a total of 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder.
How to Store Persimmon Pudding Cake
This pudding cake will keep at a cool room temperature for about 3 days. Refrigerate for longer storage, up to 5 days. For the best flavor, bring the cake to room temperature before serving.
You can freeze the pudding cake for up to 1 month.
More Fall Desserts to Make!
Persimmon Pudding Cake
2 cups ripe Hachiya persimmon pulp
1/2 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 cup (1 stick ) butter, melted
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)
Whipping cream, for serving
Preheat the oven:
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Mix the persimmon, sugar, eggs, butter, milk and vanilla:
In a large bowl, mix the persimmon pulp, sugar, eggs, butter, milk and vanilla extract.
Whisk together the dry ingredients:
In a separate bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
Combine the dry and wet ingredients:
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, a third at a time, fully incorporating after each addition. Add the chopped nuts and mix.
Bake at 400°F:
Butter an 8-inch square glass pan. Pour the batter in and bake until done (about 50 minutes).
Slice and serve:
Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with a dollop of whipped cream.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 24g||30%|
|Saturated Fat 10g||49%|
|Total Carbohydrate 47g||17%|
|Dietary Fiber 4g||15%|
|Total Sugars 22g|
|Vitamin C 4mg||22%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|