This week I’m making a delicious “Persimmon Rum Pound Cake” using some of the Hachiya persimmons growing on my backyard persimmon tree. This type of persimmon tree grows very well in Louisiana, mine was loaded with fruit this fall — I counted over 100 persimmons! While the persimmons grow during the summer, they are firm and astringent — almost impossible to eat. When they ripen in autumn, the fruit becomes very soft and translucent. The persimmons become sweet, gelatinous and lose their pungency.
Hachiya persimmons can be baked into cakes, sweet breads, puddings, custards, ice creams or added to milkshakes. Really, they can substitute in most recipes calling for bananas or applesauce. I have made several persimmon cakes (and persimmon ice cream) and shared them on past blog posts. This is a homemade cake with persimmons, rum and pecans added to the batter. It is a very dense and moist cake with a fruity flavor — it reminds me of an old-fashioned pound cake.
Several types of persimmons are grown in this country. California has the highest commercial persimmon production. Persimmons are also grown in the South in Texas, Florida and, of course, Louisiana. My tree is a Hachiya persimmon which looks like a very large acorn. It is oblong with a pointed tip. This variety is an astringent variety. They cannot be eaten while still firm. However, pick these persimmons while they are immature and they will ripen on your kitchen counter, becoming very soft and translucent. I have found that if left on the tree, the possums, birds and squirrels will snack on them. The tree produces fruit every other year — so I have to get ready with recipes in alternate years to use the fruit.
Another type of persimmon which is commonly found in farmers markets and produce sections of stores is the Fuyu persimmon variety. It is smaller and looks like a flat, squashed acorn. It is a firmer variety and is not astringent. These persimmons ripen a little after picking — but they will always stay firm. These can be chopped and added to salads, salsas. The two persimmons on the right of this photo are Fuyu persimmons.
Persimmon Rum Pound Cake Recipe
My recipe is combined from several which I found on the internet and from a basic cake recipe in my vintage “The Betty Crocker’s Picture Cookbook.” I mixed the cake batter like a traditional cake recipe, adding persimmons, rum and pecan pieces. For the cake pan, I used a tube pan — In my opinion, it is easier to remove cakes from a tube cake pan than a Bundt cake pan. And, hey, this gives me an excuse to use my mother’s old tube cake pan.
Here are the ingredients for the cake. I added nutmeg for a spice to compliment the persimmon flavor along with the pecan pieces and rum.
To make homemade cakes; I like to get everything ready first. Oil the cake pan and set aside. Get out the butter and eggs and let them come to room temperature. Toast the pecan pieces for a few minutes in the oven until they are aromatic. Quickly transfer the toasted pecan pieces to a small bowl (or they will continue to toast on the baking sheet and burn). Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg together and set aside. Scoop the gelatinous pulp out of the persimmons and mash. I used three persimmons which were very ripe and translucent (1-1/2 cup pulp). Then you are ready to go. Mixing the batter goes quickly.
I used an electric mixer to mix up cake batters. Cream the softened butter and sugar. Add the eggs. Next add the persimmon pulp, rum, vanilla extract. Beat well. Then add the flour mixture all at once and beat on a slow speed just until blended. Stir in the the toasted pecan pieces and pour into the oiled tube pan.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes until the cake springs back and pulls away from the edges of the cake pan. Let cool on a wire rack until room temperature. Then loosen from cake pan and invert onto decorative cake platter.
I drizzled on a powdered sugar glaze which was made by combining powdered sugar, more rum and and a little water. These were mixed to make a pourable consistency.
And I garnished the cake with additional pecan pieces.
My husband loved the cake, but then he loves everything sweet. I had several other friends sample the cake, too. It received a “thumbs up rating.” This cake is dense and moist — not like a traditional cake. It has lots of fruity flavor with a touch of rum flavor. It is a great way to use persimmons!
Persimmon Rum Pound Cake
Ingredients for Cake:
- 1/2 cups pecan pieces, plus 1 Tbsp for garnish
- 3 large very ripe Hachiya persimmons, to yield 1-1/2 cups pulp
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 3/4 cup (1-1/2 cup stick) butter, softened
- 1-2/3 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/4 cup golden rum
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Ingredients for Glaze:
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 2 Tbsp golden rum
- 1 – 2 Tbsp water
Instructions and Steps:
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 9″ tube cake pan with removable bottom and set aside.
- Peel the ripe persimmon, enough to make 1-1/2 pulp, mash. Set aside
- Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ground nutmeg. Set aside.
- In large bowl of electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until blended in.
- Add mashed persimmons, rum and vanilla extract and beat until blended.
- Lower speed of electric mixer. Slowly add in sifted flour mixture. Beat until just combined.
- Turn off mixer. By hand, fold in 1/2 cup pecan pieces. (Save additional 1 Tbsp for garnish.)
- Pour into prepared tube cake pan. Shake to level out. Bake in center rake of 359 degree oven for 40 minutes or until top of cake springs back and sides of cake pull away from edge of pan.
- Remove from oven, set cake on wire rack. Cool to room temperature. Run knife around edges of cake pan and center ring. Remove cake bottom from sides. Run knife around bottom of cake pan to loosen cake. Invert onto cake dish.
- For glaze, combine confectioner’s sugar and 2 Tbsp rum in small bowl. Beat rapidly with spoon or small wire whip until combined and creamy, adding 1 to 2 Tbsp water to make a pourable consistency.
- Drizzle glaze on top and down sides of cake.
- Immediately sprinkle on remaining 1 Tbsp pecan pieces before glaze hardens.