Saturday, December 09, 2006

Once Upon a Persimmon Cake

Once upon a time, the blogger known as "By The Bay" purchased two pounds of Hachiya persimmons at Oakland's Grand Lake Farmers' Market. She wasn't a big fan of persimmons, but something about Elise's Persimmon Pudding Cake recipe called to her.

She bought them firm and unripe, but knew that in order to be edible this variety of persimmon needed to be so ripe and mushy that they would practically fall apart in her hands. She figured they would be ripe enough in a week's time. A week passed, and they were still hard as rocks. She knew she could do things to help ripen them, but decided instead to wait and see how long it would take for them to do so on their own. Another week passed, and still they weren't ripe. Thanksgiving came around and she left town, thinking for sure when she got back they'd be ready to use. No such luck. But a full month later, she came home from work and knew today was the day... The persimmons were finally ripe!

So she set about adapting Elise's recipe to be gluten-free, changing the recipe just enough to make it her own.

The result was a rich, sweet cake with a moist consistency akin to bread pudding. The distinctive flavor of the persimmons came through beautifully, and the taste of pecans and caramelized sugar rounded out the flavor.


2 cups of pulp of extremely ripe Hachiya persimmons
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups Gluten Free Cake Flour Mix
2 tablespoons coconut flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon ginger

Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease a 8" round cake pan. In a large bowl, mix persimmon pulp, eggs, butter, buttermilk and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Slowly fold the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix until thoroughly combined. Add chopped nuts and stir to incorporate. Pour into cake pan and bake for about 50 minutes. When done, the center will still be very moist and soft, but the outside of the cake should have formed a firm crust and be well-browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes before serving. Slice and serve warm.


Anonymous said...

wow! :) i always wondered what a persimmon was :) what's it taste like? :) that recipe looks so good i think i'll try it with a different fruit :) h

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, persimmons taste just like cake! No kidding.

Anonymous said...

My used to make Persimmon Cookies with Raisens in them, I haven't ran across her recipe bu this cake looks like it might be wonderful alternative, and I might add Raisens instead of nuts.

Christine Benvenuto said...

I love this recipe and so have the people I share it with. You can "quick ripen" persimmons by putting a bit of brandy or other spirits on the leaves and putting them in a paper bag or airtight container. A fermentation process happens which quickens the ripening.