My American friends have spoken about persimmons for as long as have known them. I'd always wondered how Mr Gube's Persimmon Pudding would taste - not really knowing what a persimmon was - but sadly I think the recipe died with him.
I never did get around to finding out what they were until recently when I was asked if I'd like to give them a try, so I said a definite yes.
They are really quite pretty. The ones I had were firm fleshed, so I assume they were the Fuyu variety. They certainly went down well at the office! The texture of these ones was a cross between an apricot and a pear, and the flavour was very fresh, slightly floral, but almost like a mango/apple cross.
I had three left to use up, so when I saw this recipe for a spiced squash cake, I felt that the persimmon would work perfectly. http://www.thepersianfusion.com/?p=744
Off I went.
The fruit grated easily.
250 g grated persimmon
300 g sugar (I used half demerara, half golden caster)
300 ml olive oil (half mild, half extra virgin)
4 medium eggs
230 g plain flour
1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon (yes, tablespoon)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
120 g oat or wheat bran
40 g shelled unsalted pistachios, chopped
Line the bottom of a 25 cm cake tin with baking paper (springform tin is best). No need to oil. (I used a rectangular tin, as I had no round tins)
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F.
Put flour, oatbran, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and mix well with a whisk or fork.
Put the sugar in another bowl and add the olive oil. Beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until sugar is completely dissolved (about three minutes).
Add the eggs to the sugar one by one and beat about a minute on medium speed after adding each egg.
Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the egg mixture and beat on low speed to incorporate. Add the rest of the flour mix in two batches and beat to incorporate. Then beat the batter for 2 minutes on low speed.
Add all of the grated fruit to the batter and mix well.
Pour the batter into the lined cake tin. Sprinkle the chopped pistachio on the batter.
Bake for 40 minutes or until the top is browned and a toothpick or cake taster inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in the tin for ten minutes.
Put a platter or board on top of the tin and invert the cake on the platter. Peel off the baking paper and turn the cake out on a cooling rack so the pistachios are on top. Let cool completely.
It keeps incredibly well. I've still got some from when I made this before Christmas, and it's still moist and tender. I had some last night topped with rose scented Greek yoghurt and honey.
The last persimmon got chopped and and stewed down with cinnamon, butter and brown sugar. It made a gorgeous topping for porridge.
Thank you to Maryam for the original recipe!