Guys, I am in full-blown Christmas mode. I forced The BF to be cheery Sunday night and decorate the tree with me after we had been putting it off for a week. I may or may not have used the words, “YOU BE CHEERY OR SO HELP ME GOD.” I’m like the opposite of the Grinch, where I get really upset if you’re not at cheery as me. Maybe that doesn’t make sense.
Anyhoodle. I’ve my epic Christmastime list on repeat for at leas the last two weeks and faithfully sing along to every song, at the top of my lungs….out of key. It’s awesome. My favorites are trying to match Mariah’s pitch in “All I Want for Christmas” because you know I’m not hitting those high notes. Or perhaps Whitney Houston’s belt it out ballad of “The First Noel” – classic. Girl gets after it. The John Denver and Muppets version of the “Twelve Days of Christmas” – Miss Piggy might be my spirit animal in that song.
Oh jeeze, and “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer“! How do more people not know that song? And of course The Drifter’s “White Christmas”. If that doesn’t scream Home Alone I don’t know what does. Actually I do, but you probably don’t want me to ramble off all 80+ songs on my list right now.
Alright, alright so on to the food. This year I decided I wanted to play around with persimmons because they look so festive. I didn’t really know anything about them except that they sort of look like orange tomatoes. So I bought a bunch and then decided to do a little research. I suggest you research first and then buy your persimmons, folks. Luckily I bought fuyu persimmons which are the squatter version and not the hachiya variety which are apparently particularly finicky in terms of flavor or ripeness. Basically if it’s not perfectly ripe it tastes really bitter, and it’s only ripe once every blue moon on the second Saturday of the month where the last day ends on a Tuesday for exactly 23.4 seconds, no more or less (I may be exaggerating, but only a bit).
BUT! Despite the extremes you need to go for a ripe persimmon I think it’s totally worth it. They have this great, soft texture that’s similar to a very mild orange. Surprisingly delightful. And when sliced, they are very pretty. So I chose a classic upside down cake baked in a skillet with some nice winter flavors of cinnamon, maple, and nutmeg. I tweaked The Kitchn’s basic upside down fruit cake recipe to suit my needs.
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2-3 fuyu persimmons sliced1/4 inch thick
- 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1½ cups flour
- ½ cup almond meal
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¾ tspsalt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- Heat oven to 350F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer cream together the 1½ sticks of butter with the sugars until fluffy.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, almond meal, baking powder, salt and spices.
- Add the eggs to the butter and sugar and beating until fluffy between each addition.
- Add the vanilla and mix just until incorporated.
- With the mixer running on low gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until no streaks remain. Dough will be very thick, almost like a cookie dough. Set aside.
- Place a 10 inch skillet over medium low flame and belt the butter and maple syrup until thoroughly combined. Turn off heat.
- Layer in persimmon slices so the bottom of the skillet is evenly covered.
- Carefully dollop dough over top, spread to cover all the persimmon slices. Smooth the top with the back of a spatula.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the top and edges are golden.
- Run a knife around the edge immediately after removing from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before inverting on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet to catch the juices.
- Let cool completely before serving. Can be stored in an airtight container.