Sharon fruit recipe: Sharon Fruit Cake

Miss Thrifty4 April 20, 2011

Sharon fruit are also known as persimmons. Personally I think that persimmon sounds a lot more exotic than sharon fruit (perhaps because I’m originally from Essex), but for some reason supermarkets always label them up as the latter.

Anyway, whenever I see sharon fruit in the supermarket, they have usually been plonked in the heavily discounted, about-to-go-off section of the fruit and veg aisle. People don’t know what to do with them. They are funny-looking and the packaging is no help. In Morrisons, for example, the sharon fruit wrapper says:

Adds colour to fruit salads.

If that isn’t a cop-out, I don’t know what is.

On my latest trip to the supermarket, sharon fruit had been reduced to 9p for four and I came home with eight of them. Then I dithered until the sharon fruits’ leaves began turning brown and I HATE FOOD WASTE, even if it’s to the tune of 18p, so something had to be done.

I found a great sharon fruit recipe on All Recipes UK. It matched my criteria (quick, simple, tasty) perfectly. The original recipe is for sharon fruit slices. I don’t have a deep baking tray, so I baked my amended version in a round cake tin and have renamed it persimmon cake. Win!

    My Favourite Sharon Fruit Recipe, AKA Persimmon Cake

6 sharon fruit, chopped into large chunks

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 egg, beaten

200g caster sugar

120ml vegetable oil

165g raisins

200g plain flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground or crushed cloves

115g walnuts, chopped


1. Simmer the sharon fruit for 10 minutes in a heavy-bottomed saucepan with a lid over low heat. Keep stirring, to prevent burning. Allow the mixture to cool a little, then puree it in a food processor. It should look something like this:

sharon fruit pulp

Stir in the bicarbonate of soda and set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 180⁰C / Gas Mark 4. Grease or line a medium-sized cake tin. (The one I used was 22cm diameter.)

3. Add the beaten egg, caster sugar, vegetable oil and raisins to a bowl and mix. Don’t be alarmed by the amount of vegetable oil – 120ml is loads! But the finished cake will be moist, rather than oily.

4. Add the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cloves to a large bowl and mix. Add the sharon fruit. Add the egg mixture. Add the walnuts. Stir thoroughly.

5. Add the mixture to the cake tin, and bake for 20-25 minutes. Done.

I should have taken a picture of the finished cake, but I didn’t. To be honest it isn’t amazing to look at – it’s a brown cake – but you can always gussie it up with icing or a sugar and lemon glaze, should you be so minded.

You are supposed to wait for it to cool. However if, like me, you are impatient, I recommend eating it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The sharon fruit add colour and a distinctive taste to this cake. This isn’t a sweet or gooey concoction: with the raisins, sharon fruit and oil, it’s very Claudia Roden.

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4 Responses to “Sharon fruit recipe: Sharon Fruit Cake

Thanks for the link and interesting post! I do like the idea of colouring up a fruit salad with these, as fruit salad is about the only way I ever eat fruit (doesn’t bode well for the old 5-a-day malarkey, I know)!
PS: homemade ‘brown’ cake is good – as I always tell my children before pouring custard over the offending object usually: it’ll make a nice chance to present them with something that’s meant to be brown for a change! 🙂

April 21, 2011 at 9:51 am

sally m says:

I love Sharon Fruit, i just eat them by themselves and think they are very tasty. I do however have a fear of them ever since about 2 years ago i took the top off of one and a non-flying wasp type creature came out of it with a long line of sharon fruit gunk attached to it and crawled about my car for 20 minutes before i squashed it with the steering wheel lock (i tried to remove it without killing it first but it didn’t work!).

April 28, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Miss Thrifty says:

@Katherine: You are welcome! Like I say, I often see them going cheap at the end of the day, so keep your eye out…

@Sally: Yuk!

April 28, 2011 at 8:43 pm

lisa says:

Great recipe. I’m passing it round all my friends, it goes down a treat. Yummy!!

July 2, 2017 at 5:51 pm

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