So these Persimmon things and I have not had the most understanding of relationships. In fact, there seems to be a complete lack of communication and I feel rather like I do nothing but give, give, give and the persimmon does nothing but take, take, take. I was on the verge of walking out of that door forever, citing irreconcilable differences when, lo and behold, a breakthrough. Suddenly, it seemed, the Persimmon was a changed fruit, a giver not a taker and quite willing to do it’s fair share in the relationship.
The problem was, you see, that I had been buying hachiya persimmons, which have to be squishily over-ripe to be eaten, and there-in lay the seed of my trauma. No matter how many fruits I bought, all gorgeous, orange, firm and shiny, not a single one bothered with what I would consider the normal path a fruit’s life follows, namely: ripening. I put them in paper bags, in warm spots, in cool spots, with other fruit, on their own. Oh, I tried it all, and everytime the fruit would sit there, glaring at me, hard firm as a green mango until it started shriveling and turning muck. And I had just about given up hope of ever coming to terms with this intriguing fruit when I noticed a tray of persimmons in the market that looked just a little bit different to the usual bright globes. They were … Ripe! Squishy and jellyish and just sitting there in their little trays begging for some love.
So finally, here it is. A recipe I’ve been holding hopefully onto for nearly 18 months now in the hope that one day, One Fine Day, I’d meet Mr Persimmon-Perfecto. Please don’t ask me where the recipe is from: it’s been kicking around, scribbled hastily onto a piece of paper, for just too long. If anyone recognises it, do let me know so that I can pay tribute correctly as this delicious pudding deserves.
*note: the left overs are great cut into cookie-sized squares for tea time
**note: this is not strictly a pudding, but more of a cake-meets-pancake. But who’s counting, right?
1 cup persimmon pulp (from 1 big, super ripe persimmon)
½ cup dark brown sugar (demerara)
½ cup buttermilk
½ tsp bicarb
½ cup evaporated milk (from a can)
½ tsp vanilla essence
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ cup vegetable oil, such as canolo
for the filling:
3 or 4 Tbsp cream cheese
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
couple drops of vanilla
honey, to taste
– preheat the oven to 325˚F. Grease 2 23cm cake tins.
– mix fruit, sugar and eggs in a large bowl.
– stir the bicarb into the buttermilk, then combine both milks together.
– mix fruit and milk mixtures, then add vanilla.
– mix the flour and the baking powder well then add to the milky fruit mix.
– lastly add the oil. Allow mixture to sit for 5 mins before baking.
– divide between 2 cake tins and bake for about 45 – 50 mins, until golden.
– the cake will rise quite dramatically then fall again, don’t worry. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool.
– to finish the pudding, mix the filling ingredients, to taste, and spread between the cooled cakes.