Thursday, February 09, 2023

Persimmon Cake


I decided that I really wanted to enjoy some persimmons while they were in season a few months ago, so I made Catherine McCord’s persimmon cake. This cake is dense and moist, and has a more delicate taste than the dark crumb would let you think. It was delicious! 

You should know that there are two main kinds of persimmons: fuyus and hachiyas. The fuyus, pictured here, are the most readily available in stores. They can be eaten when firm, and I really enjoy them. The hachiyas are more oblong, and those are trickier because they must be soft-ripe before they can be eaten. 

To make persimmon purée, all you need to do is peel some persimmons, remove the core if it is tough and/or white, chop them, and purée them in the food processor. It will look odd at first, like a chunky mixture that isn’t doing what you want it to, and you’ll wonder if you should have steamed the fruit first, but keep processing and it’ll come together! I used 6 or 7 fuyu persimmons and got a bit more than 2 cups of purée – I ate the extra purée with yogurt and vanilla powder. 

2 cups all-purpose flour 
2 tsp. baking soda 
1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg 
¾ tsp. kosher salt 
1 ¼ granulated sugar 
¾ cup lactose-free butter, melted 
2 cups persimmon purée (see above) 
3 large eggs, at room temperature 
2 tsp. vanilla extract 
powdered sugar, for dusting (optional) 

Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Coat a 10-cup (2.5-liter) bundt cake or tube pan with butter or nonstick cooking spray. 

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Stir in the granulated sugar. 

In a medium bowl or standing mixer, stir together the ¾ cup melted butter, persimmon purée, eggs, and vanilla. 

Add the flour mixture on low and stir just until everything is moistened; don't over mix. 

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour (50 minutes in my case). Remove from the oven and let cool completely. 

Once the cake is cool, invert onto a serving plate. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

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