110g unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cup of caster sugar
2 tsp salt
2 cups plain ﬂour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 heaped tbs of chopped crystallised ginger
1 cup raisins OR dried currants
1 cup chopped walnuts OR pecans
2 ripe Hachiya (soft) persimmons, peeled and pureed
Preheat oven to 180ºC or 170ºC fan forced.
With an electric cake mixer, beat butter, sugar and salt until pale and ﬂuﬀy. Add egg and beat until combined. Add half the ﬂour and mix. Then add persimmon puree and mix with a wooden spoon until combined. Add remaining ﬂour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, and mix with a wooden spoon until combined. Add raisins or currants, nuts and crystallised ginger, and mix until
Drop heaped tablespoons of the batter onto a baking tray lined with parchment and bake for 12-14 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack before storing in an airtight container.
Tip: You can also use crisp Fuyu persimmons for this recipe once they ripen up.
The Australian persimmon season is underway with the first fruit arriving in stores now.
This tropical fruit with a sweet honey-like taste is an autumn delicacy that is only available from mid March through to late June.
Harvest is a stunning time at the persimmon orchards when the leaves on the persimmon trees turn a bright orange matching this deliciously, sweet fruit.
NSW persimmon grower, Mr Brett Guthrey says it will be a bountiful season ahead thanks to a warm summer and lots of sunshine providing ideal growing conditions.
'The trees are producing excellent fruit this season. We take a lot of care when harvesting - each persimmon is hand-picked and individually placed in buckets to ensure the fruit isn't bruised, marked or pierced," said Mr Guthrey, who is also the President of Persimmons Australia.
Persimmons come in two main types that have the same sweet, subtle-honey flavour but two very different textures.
Hachiya persimmons, sometimes referred to as the original persimmon, are juicy and soft, similar in texture to a very ripe stone fruit. The skin of the Hachiya is a gorgeous autumnal red-orange and its soft inside can be scooped out and eaten fresh, or added to cakes and biscuits, desserts, or smoothies for extra sweetness.
Hachiya persimmons need be ripe before eating, so leave them in the fruit bowl for about a week to fully ripen. They are ready to eat when they are very soft and juicy.
Fuyu persimmons, sometimes referred to as the sweet persimmon, are crisp and crunchy like an apple. Fuyu persimmons have a pale orange skin and can be easily sliced. They are delicious eaten raw, as a crunchy addition to autumn salads and are perfect for cheese platters. Being firm, Fuyu persimmons are also tough enough to survive school bag bumps making them a tasty change for lunch boxes.
Fuyus are best kept in the fruit bowl and will keep their crunch for 2-3 weeks before softening more like a Hachiya.
'Shoppers should start seeing Fuyu persimmons from Queensland on supermarket shelves, and Hachiya persimmons from further south will appear towards the middle and end of the season," said Mr Guthrey.
Perfect persimmons now in season
Both varieties of persimmon are now available at supermarkets and green grocers around Australia. When selecting persimmons always choose fruit that is a consistent colour from base to calyx (the green bit at the top).
For inspiring recipes and information about delicious Aussie persimmons visit www.persimmonsaustralia.com.au and www.facebook.com/persimmonsaustralia. Share your perfect persimmon creations with the hashtag #aussiepersimmons or #persimmonsaustralia
Photo by Jennifer Jenner