It resembles a yellowish tomato, is as crisp as a new-crop apple and tastes like a sweet pumpkin.
You guessed it: a Fuyu persimmon, now in season and at your supermarket if you're lucky and the produce manager ordered some. Buy them soon -- unlike strawberries and asparagus, which used to be seasonal items but are now always available, you can only get persimmons for a short time.
If you aren't familiar with persimmons you should know there are several kinds. Check out my article at The Jewish Week, where I explain the differences.
Because the Fuyu variety is sturdy, you can use it for salads and salsas. But I processed some to a fare-thee-well in my food processor and used the pulp to make this fabulous, moist and gently spicy cake, which got rave reviews from one and all. This is a good snack but also, dressed up a bit with ice cream or sorbet, makes a simple and lovely dessert too.
Here's what the cake looks like:
Here's the recipe:
PERSIMMON COFFEE CAKE
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 Fuyu persimmons (1 cup pureed pulp)
- 12 tablespoons butter
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 10-inch bundt pan. Place the flour with one teaspoon baking soda, the baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl and whisk to distribute the ingredients evenly. Chop the persimmons and puree them in a food processor. Place the pulp in a bowl and add the remaining teaspoon baking soda. Mix the ingredients and set aside. Place the butter and eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat at medium speed for 2-3 minutes or until the butter mixture is smooth and creamy. Add the flour mixture in parts, alternating with the yogurt, then the persimmon puree. Stir in the vanilla extract. Spoon the batter into the bundt pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto a cake rack to cool completely.
Note: adding some of the baking soda to the persimmon pulp keeps the cake tender and crumbly; otherwise the texture will be too dense and "wet."
Makes one cake; 12-16 servings