on a recent trip out to the garden, this cake accompanied me and was shared among my fellow gardeners. it is a simple cake that can be made with sweet potato or pumpkin puree if you do not have access to persimmons. for those of you that have persimmon trees in your yards, be sure to wait until that first frost of fall to gather the fruits. then after washing them, run them through a food mill to extract the seeds and freeze the puree in sandwich sized zipper bags to make it easy to use in recipes.
the maple syrup is heated with the butter and brown sugar. when the butter melts and the sugar dissolves, allow it to boil a bit and then pour it into a greased cake pan.
top the glaze mixture with the walnuts, try not to go all the way to the edge of the pan to keep the nuts on the top of the cake-i didn’t do a very good job of that!
persimmon puree looks a lot like sweet potatoes or pumpkin and if you can’t find persimmons, both make a suitable substitute.
using the typical creaming method, this batter mixes up quickly. after creaming the butter and sugar, the eggs are added. once the eggs are in, sift the dry ingredients over the batter. fold it a few times and then sprinkle the buttermilk all over the top and fold it completely until no streaks remain:
the tough part-spreading the batter over the nuts without moving them. be sure to allow the cake to sit for about 5-10 minutes before turning it out otherwise, the glaze and the nuts will not coat the top of the cake evenly.
maple-walnut upside down persimmon cake
1 (8″) cake serving 6-8
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons maple syrup-preferably grade b
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
preheat the oven to 350. grease an 8″ cake pan and set it aside. place the butter in a small sauté pan over low heat and melt. add the maple syrup, light brown sugar and the cinnamon and stir until the brown sugar is dissolved. raise the heat to medium and bring to a boil. allow the mixture to boil for a minute and then pour into the prepared cake pan
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
1/3 cup persimmon puree
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup buttermilk
in a mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar with the vanilla and salt. when light and fluffy, add the egg and combine completely. add the persimmon puree and mix in making sure to scrape the bowl well as you go. sift the flour and baking powder over the batter and fold it in a few times. sprinkle the buttermilk over the batter and fold it together until smooth. spread it evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan. bake until a tester inserted comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes and then place a serving dish that is larger than the cake pan over the top and invert the cake onto the plate-this will catch any drips. allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving. and for the particularly evil-serve it with some ice cream! buttermilk ice cream comes to mind…
bake on friends and may the force be with you.