Rescuing the Astringent Persimmon (Gluten Free Persimmon Cake)


Biting into an astringent persimmon must be in my top most unpleasant experiences, which happened to me the other day. I love sweet & juicy persimmon, but I’m not expert enough to tell the difference between the astringent/non-astringent varieties. I have had two delicious looking but tannin tasting persimmons sitting in the kitchen for the past week. I hate to throw out food so I was determined to turn these into something tasty, or at least edible.

I found a recipe card for persimmon bread, but this is more like cake than bread. Interestingly the recipe I adapted (and many that I found on the internet) didn’t involve any form of fat. Anxiously baking away, I wasn’t so sure how it would come out. Once completely cooled, this cake is moist, rich & sweet.

Persimmon Cake

1 ripe large Persimmon

1 egg, beaten

1 heaped tbsp molasses

1 heaped tbsp golden syrup

½ cup cornmeal

½ cup maize flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

½ tsp ground ginger

½ tsp ground cardamom

1 tsp baking powder

½ cup mixed dried fruit

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F/190C/Gas mark 5
  2. With a sharp knife, remove stem end of persimmons. Scoop out pulp with a spoon. Mash or finely chop the pulp to make about ¾ cup
  3. In a bowl, combine the persimmon pulp, egg, molasses & golden syrup. Beat until well combined.
  4. In another bowl, combine the flours, spices & baking powder. Stir in the dried fruit.
  5. Add the persimmon mixture all at one to the flour mixture. Stir just until combined. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan.
  6. Bake for about 25minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Note: Allow to cool completely before consuming as the warm cake still tastes astringent.

With my second persimmon I decided to make fruit tarts using my new tart tins this evening. I replaced the cherries for persimmons & apple, and coconut for ground almonds from my cherry and coconut tart recipe. These looked so tempting when I brought them out the oven so I was keen to try…big mistake, the persimmon was sappy as ever & I ended up picking them out. Nevertheless, the rest of the tart was tasty.



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