Earlier this year, my husband and I moved into a cute little rental in a charming, established neighborhood, replete with mature fruit trees. Imagine my delight when, come autumn, my next door neighbor had not one, but two, persimmon trees bursting with the gorgeous orange orbs! I eat the Fuyus raw and put them in salads, but the Hachiyas, which I used in this modified recipe from David Lebovitz, are great for baking. Hachiyas should feel heavy and soft, with skins about to burst when ready to use.
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup whiskey
- 2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups persimmon purée
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 4 or 5 teaspoons water
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Use an empty butter wrapper to grease the inside of a Bundt cake pan.
For the cake:
Prepare persimmon puree by scooping soft flesh from persimmons into a bowl, discarding skins and stem.
Transfer pulp to a blender and blend until smooth. Measure out 1 1/2 cups for this recipe, then store any extra in an airtight container in the freezer.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the cranberries and whiskey to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover, and let cool.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the sugar and softened butter on medium until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat on medium-low until just incorporated. Gently mix in the persimmon purée and 2 teaspoons vanilla.
Add flour mixture to bowl, in 3 parts, beating just until incorporated. Fold in the cranberries and the walnuts. Do not overmix.
Scrape the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Once cool, invert the cake onto your cooling rack, which has been positioned over a jelly roll pan.
For the icing:
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and 1 tablespoon butter on high speed until smooth. Beat in the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and the lemon juice, then gradually add the powdered sugar, beating on high speed until smooth. Add the 4 teaspoons water; the icing should be pourable. If necessary, add 1 more teaspoon water.
Pour the icing around the top of the cake, then tap the plate on a folded kitchen towel on the countertop to encourage the icing to run down the sides of the cake.
Transfer cake to your favorite cake platter and serve. While my icing technique has never been great, this cake is gorgeous! Think of a decadently wholesome and delicious version of fruitcake, without any of those strangely fluorescent gooey things. So good!