Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Vegan Persimmon Cake with Meyer Lemon-Blood Orange Marmalade

It's the beginning of citrus season and the end of persimmon season, and after seeing a recipe for an olive oil cake with marmalade on Serious Eats, I knew I had to veganize it!

Sweet persimmon in a rich and tender-crumbed vegan olive oil cake, topped with a sweet and sour Meyer lemon-blood orange marmalade and freshly sliced citrus fruits make this cake the perfect accompaniment to a pot of tea or tall glass of lemonade.

Hints of vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg swirl through the cake, livened up by bits of candied lemon and orange peels suspended in the golden marmalade. A sprinkle of fresh citrus zest finishes the dish.

Make this for a group and eat as soon as it's cool - the marmalade and fresh citrus juices sink into the cake quickly. This make for a luxuriously moist cake during the first serving, but it did get a bit soggy in the fridge.

Vegan Persimmon Cake with Meyer Lemon-Blood Orange Marmalade
Modified from Serious Eats

For the marmalade:
1 large Meyer lemon
1 blood orange
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Place a small plate into the freezer (you'll use this later to test the marmalade). Wash the lemon and orange well. Carefully remove the peel of each fruit in strips using a very sharp knife or vegetable peeler, trying not to include the bitter white pith.
2. Cut these strips into very thin slivers. Set aside.
3. Cut the remaining white pith from the citrus using a sharp knife. Cut the fruit into small pieces, removing seeds.
4. In a medium sauce pan, add the peels, fruit, 2 cups of water, and 1 cup of sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar.
5. One the mixture comes to a boil, add the cardamom and nutmeg. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 15-25 minutes, or until it is thick and has darkened.
6. To test if the marmalade is done, remove the plate from the freezer. Spoon a drop of the hot marmalade onto the plate, then wait 30 seconds. If you can drag your finger through the drop and the track your finger makes doesn't fill in, the marmalade is done. Take the pan off the heat and stir in vanilla. Let cool. When needed, reheat on low, stirring until warm.

For the vegan olive oil cake:
2 T ground flax + 6 T water
2/3 cup almond milk + 2 tsp lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup plus 1 T extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 T lemon zest
1/2 T blood orange zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour + 1 T flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 Fuyu persimmons, peeled and diced

Preheat the oven to 350°
1. In a small container, mix the ground flax and water. In a separate small container, combine the almond milk and lemon juice. Let both mixtures sit for 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, beat flax mixture and sugar until combined and slightly foamy, about 1 minute.
3. Add almond milk mixture, 3/4 C olive oil, zest, salt, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla and beat for another minute.
4. In a medium bowl, sift 1 1/2 C flour, baking powder, and baking soda, mixing to combine.
5. In a small bowl, mixed the diced persimmon with the remaining tablespoon of flour, until lightly coated.
6. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. Then, fold in the persimmon.
7. Pour the batter into a 9 inch pan greased with 1 T olive oil. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a knife stuck in the center of the cake come out clean. (That's per the original recipe - in my oven it took around 50 minutes).
8. Let cool slightly, then top with warm marmalade. Let the marmalade cool slightly, then top with thinly sliced blood orange, Meyer lemons, or other citrus fruit. Garnish with fresh Meyer lemon or other citrus zest.

As always you can check out my instagram to see more of what goes on in my kitchen. Recent dishes include homemade vegan pasta, vegan chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting, and vegan taco pizza.

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