Although winter can last FOR-EV-ER here on the Palouse, there are some wonderful things to look forward to. Sledding, hot chocolate, going to bed at 8 pm and it being totally acceptable and persimmons! Persimmons are small, soft, orange-fleshed fruits native to China and Japan and delicately sweet. The most common types of persimmons found in Co-ops, grocery stores and farmers markets are Fuyu (smaller, rounder and lighter in color) and Hachiya (darker, brighter and heart-shaped) and both are delicious. Hachiya persimmons should be eaten at a very specific ripeness (when they feel super soft to the touch) to avoid any bitter flavor and can be spooned out of their skin and eaten. Fuyu persimmons are heartier and stand up better to baking and cooking.
For this Upside Down Cake recipe, we used persimmons (instead of more commonly seen pineapple) and brown sugar to make a caramelized crust when it's flipped over.
To make this cake you will need:
1/2 cup unsalted butter 1/4 cup brown sugar 1 cup sugar 2-3 Fuyu persimmons, sliced thinly 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/3 cup cornmeal 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup almond paste 3 eggs, separated 1/4 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 teaspoon almond extract 1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9" cake pan (at least 2 inches deep) and line with parchment paper. Beat 2 tablespoons of butter with the brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Spread the mixture over the bottom of the pan with a rubber spatula. Arrange sliced fruit in the pan on top of the butter and sugar mixture. In a medium bowl whisk together all dry ingredients. Beat the remaining butter with the almond paste and 3/4 cup of sugar until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks followed by the vanilla and almond extracts. Add the dry ingredients in 2 parts, alternating with the milk, mixing until well combined. In a separate bowl using a mixer, beat the egg whites until foamy. Gradually sprinkle in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and beat until soft peaks form. Fold a third of the egg whites in the cake batter, being careful not to deflate them. Gently fold in the rest of the egg whites and pour batter into the pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes then remove from oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes before inverting the cake.