Persimmon & Rooibos Teacake
- 1/2 cup dates, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 150 ml hot strong-brewed rooibos tea or earl grey*
- 4 free-range eggs
- 50 g soft butter or coconut oil
- 1 cup almond meal (flour)
- 1 cup white flour (gluten-free use 3/4 cup rice flour + 1/4 cup tapioca flour)
- 1 teaspoon mixed spiced
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 firm non-astringent persimmons, peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Preheat oven 170°C. Line the base of a 22cm cake tin with baking paper and grease the sides.
- Combine the dates and raisins in a jug, pour over the brewed rooibos tea. Set aside for 20-30 minutes to plump up the fruit. Place the tea infused dried fruit, eggs and soft butter in a food processor and blend until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Combine the almond meal, flour, spice, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Mix through the chopped persimmon and pour over the egg mixture. Fold together until well combined then pour into the prepared tin. Sprinkle the surface evenly with the sugar. Bake for 40 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove from the tin and cool on a rack. Serve warm with natural yogurt.
I love persimmons. Most fruit I can happily miss out on as the children gobble up the fruit bowl. However, when it comes to a sweet and crunchy persimmon, tactics may need to be employed i.e. hiding them in my office. It is the one fruit I specifically go to the farmers’ market in search of at this time of year. I know exactly where I can get my annual fix, I make a beeline for my favourite organic growers Brent & Kevin. And I fill two bags, one with jumbo bunches of kale, parsley, fennel and celeriac. The other designated solely for persimmon.
So, with my intense love for persimmons it may sound totally ludicrous to then tell you we once had a persimmon tree in the garden that we cut down. It was in a bit of a strange location, like right in the centre of our lawn! But that wasn’t why we cut it down – if it’s your favourite fruit you make allowances. No, the thing is there are two types of persimmons and they are very different. There is the sweet crunchy variety (my favourite), and the astringent variety, which can only be eaten once they are almost jelly like. They are not my cup of tea at all, there is something about the texture that doesn’t do it for me. Sadly the tree in the middle of our lawn was the astringent variety, so it had to go to make room for the trampoline.
When you are buying persimmons it is best to buy them direct from the grower so you can ask them what type they are – or a knowledgeable green grocer you can trust. To bite into an astringent persimmon thinking it is the crunchy variety is not an enjoyable experience – imagine hundreds of tiny feathers glued to the roof of your mouth and tongue. And for this teacake recipe it is imperative to use the crunchy version. As it cooks the fruit softens just perfectly to compliment the cake texture. If you can’t get your hands on persimmons or perhaps it is the wrong season where you are, this cake can be made with beurre bosc pears, granny smith apples, apricots, plums… any firm fleshed fruit.