Persimmon Cake With Crème Fraîche And Maple Pecans Recipe

Persimmons' soft, wet texture elevates this cake into the ethereal.


1 3/4 cups (approximately 3 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus a little for the pan
About 3 ripe Hachiya persimmons (to yield 1 cup puréed flesh)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch ground cloves
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 extra large eggs
1/4 cup crème fraîche
1 recipe Maple Pecans (recipe follows)
Maple Pecans
1 1/2 cups pecans
2 tbsp maple sugar
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp kosher salt


Step 1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Step 2. Prepare a 10″ round cake pan by lightly buttering the inside surfaces, lining the bottom with parchment paper, and buttering the parchment. Cook 4 tbsp butter (1/2 stick) in a small saucepan over high heat for a few minutes, swirling the pan, until the butter browns and smells nutty. Set aside to cool.

Step 3. Scoop the ripe flesh from the persimmons, and purée in a blender until smooth. Measure out 1 cup purée.

Step 4. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, the spices, and salt in a small bowl, and set aside.

Step 5. In another bowl, combine the purée, 1/4 cup cream, vanilla, and cooled browned butter. Paddle the remaining 1 1/2 cups butter and the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer at medium-high for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each egg. Decrease the paddle speed to low. Alternately add the flour mixture and persimmon-purée mixture to the bowl, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

Step 6. Evenly spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 1 hour, until cake feels springy to the touch. Whip the remaining 3/4 cup cream and the crème fraîche to soft peaks. Cut slices from the cake and place on dessert plates. Dollop with whipped crème fraîche, and scatter the candied pecans over the cake and around the plate.

Makes 10 – 12 servings.

Maple Pecans

Step 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Step 2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Spread evenly across the prepared baking sheet. Bake, stirring every few minutes, for about 10 minutes, or until nuts are toasted.

Reprinted with permission from The A.O.C. Cookbook (2013, Knopf.)

See more recipes from The A.O.C. Cookbook.