Persimmons and I aren't friends. We've never really liked each other, their delicate flavor and baby food consistency have never really grown on me, and I'm sure they're not happy with me giggling loudly when I throw one towards a hard surface. Seriously, you should try it, they make one almighty big mess, especially good in food fights.
There's a couple of perks to living in a house previously owned by migrant Italians. Dodgy home electrical work and massive fruit trees. You might think that the first point is not a perk, but it always a laugh when you call in a trades person and tell them there is a real possibility they may die while working in our house. Back to perk 2, one of the massive fruit trees in our backyard happens to be a persimmon tree.
Despite my attempts to neglect it, the tree seems to revel and produces tonnes fruit. My brother loves persimmons, but there are only so many he can eat. I tried giving them away to my mum, she has two small trees of her own, she ended up passing my persimmon onto some friends of hers. I’ve tried giving them away to friends, but yet I still remain in a glut of squishy soft flesh! I had a bright idea one day and filled an enormous box, plonked it outside my front gate with a sign reading “free persimmons – please take”. I even put out plastic bags so passerby's could happily put their free fruit in a carry bag. 20 minutes later I checked on my experiment, the persimmons were gone, along with the box! I was left with a sign and all of the original plastic bags. I’m still left with loads of fruit, but now my box is gone, I have no means of transporting fruit from the backyard to the doorstep. I thought about putting them in buckets, but I’m afraid the buckets will disappear too. I’m not running the risk of having nowhere to wash my small and delicates.
So I’m left with only one option, eat them. Sigh. I didn’t want it to come to this, but the time has come. I was perusing the internet, as one does from time to time and noticed that Rianna from Cherry Blossom Cupcakes had made Precious Persimmon Cupcakes. I was instantly curious. They sounded divine, even though they contained persimmon. So I shot off and email and asked if she would kindly share her recipe with me. And luckily she said yes!!
I made Rianna’s original recipe, with orange zest buttercream frosting. They tasted exactly like gingerbread, but in cupcake form. The flavour of persimmon is very subtle, the cake is moist and fluffy with loads of brown sugar flavour to boot.
The first batch of cupcakes
I like my cupcakes low on sugar, that way I can eat more of them and not feel so guilty, that reasoning works for me! So after Daz asked me to make them again, I decided to tweak the recipe a bit - I cut the amount of brown sugar in half and decreased the castor sugar by 15 grams. The result is a cupcake with more persimmon flavour, which was what I was hoping for. I topped them with orange zest cream cheese frosting and a sprinkle of pistachios. The second batch disappeared just as fast as the first, and now I’m planning my third batch. I never thought I would actually enjoy persimmons in something. Now I worry about not having a big enough supply of persimmon.
Thanks Rianna for the great recipe!
Persimmon Spice Cupcakes
Should make 18 standard sized cupcakes
260g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
225 g unsalted butter
165 g caster sugar
165 g brown sugar
1 cup pureed persimmon pulp
2 tbsp orange juice
1. Preheat oven to 175 celcius
2. Sift together flour and spices and set aside
3. Cream softened butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.
4. Add egg and beat well.
5. Add 1/3 of flour mixture and mix in lightly, then 1/2 of persimmon pulp and orange juice mixing lightly. Add another 1/3 flour mixture and mix, remaining 1/2 of persimmon pulp and mix and then remaining flour and mix through lightly.
6. Spoon batter into cupcake cases to around 2/3 full (I use an ice cream scoop to measure)
7. Bake for 25 minutes or until the tops spring back to touch.
8. Cool 5 minutes in the trays and then on a wire rack.