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Persimmon & Lemon

December 28, 2010

Upside down Persimmon & Lemon cake

This is not the reason why Jen was sent home on last week’s episode of Top Chef All-Stars.

Or so I wasn’t told.

This is the dessert I served after a delicious dinner on Christmas night. We may have had one bite of this cake. I think. For the last time, this isn’t the reason Jen was sent home.

After our Christmas dinner feast (and it was certainly a feast) I couldn’t unbutton a button. I couldn’t see a zipper. I had forgotten my stretchy pants. I was still in the afterglow of the dinner.

There was a roast Turkey (that I’d stuffed with onion, garlic, lemon and radicchio). The under-skin was slathered with herb butter to keep it crackled and golden on the outside, and moist and juicy in the inside. Oh and it was.

A delightful stuffing was made (I didn’t do it) with great flavor, but with the consistency of a pudding. And you know what they say about pudding. Pudding is the reason Jen was sent home.

Neck-bone gravy ensued. And bacon fat from the morning’s bacon butty came in handy for blistering the Brussels sprouts. Bacon fat, Amen.

Furthermore there were potatoes. Perfectly golden, perfectly crisp. Roast potatoes that’d make any Englishman proud. Or half an Englishman. And they did.

By the time it came to dessert, we were exhausted and knackered. Surely you can understand. Surely you were exhausted from your own family, I mean dinner, and knackered from all that spiked eggnog too.

It turned out the cake was perfect for the next morning’s breakfast. Part Clafoutis, part pudding, part bruleed crust with persimmons peeking out from underneath. It’s all good. And I wasn’t sent home for it.


For the caramel:

melt about 1 cup sugar in a dry saucepan until melted and dark amber in color. Pour the caramel in the bottom of a springform pan (whose sides have been touched by the hand of butter).

I had a persimmon and a lemon so I sliced pieces of each fruit and set them  on top of the caramel.

For the cake:

1 cup A.P.flour

1/4  c. cornstarch

6 whole eggs, plus 4 large egg yolks (all at room temp.)

1 c. sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3/4 c. vegetable oil (I used olive oil)

In a bowl sift together flour and cornstarch (set aside).

In electric mixer with whisk attachment combine: eggs, yolks, sugar, salt and vanilla extract.

Beat on high until thick and pale (about 5 minutes).

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, until just combined. With mixer on low-speed pour in oil in a steady stream.

Pour cake batter over the persimmon/ lemon slices and bake at about 325 degrees. The top should be slightly puffed and golden and a tester should come out clean.

Cool completely before serving.

Invert on your favorite platter and serve with fresh whip cream (preferably spiked with Grand Marnier).

Almost like a clafoutis, a bit like french toast, the cake should be pleasantly soaked with a bit of caramel that has seeped down.

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