Fun with Persimmons

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The region’s farmers markets are brimming with persimmons right now. This stunning orange globe-like fruit makes a great centerpiece for your holiday table, but don’t overlook its flavorful charms. I especially like the firm Fuyu persimmon, a sweet and mild non-astringent variety that can be eaten out of hand just like an apple (its relative, the astringent Hachiya persimmon, cannot be consumed until it is very soft). I’ll often slip some Fuyu persimmon slices into an apple pie or chop up the fruit and add it to muffin batter. But one of my favorite ways to bake with Fuyus is to showcase them in a bundt cake whose recipe was published in Sunset magazine back in the 1970’s. It’s now featured on the California Fuyu Growers Association website (www.sdfarmbureau.org/fuyu), which offers a wealth of information about this attractive fruit. Try a big slice of this simple cake for breakfast with hot coffee.

Fuyu Bundt Cake
Sunset magazine
(Source: California Fuyu Growers Association website)

Grease and flour a bundt cake pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Blend 2 tsp. baking soda into 3 cups of chopped firm Fuyus. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat 1/2 cup soft butter with 1 2/3 cups sugar. Add 2 eggs, 2 tsp. lemon juice, and 2 tsp. vanilla and beat until fluffy. Stir in Fuyu mix.

Sift together 2 cups flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. ground cloves, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp. nutmeg. Stir flour into Fuyu mixture just until blended. Add 1 cup chopped walnuts and 3/4 cup raisins.

Pour into prepared bundt pan. Bake at 350 for 55 – 60 minutes or until toothpick tests clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Turn onto rack.