1 Apt. 2B Baking Co.: November 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

Persimmon and Ginger Upside-Down Cake

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There are two type of persimmons that can be easily found around New York this time of year: fuyu and hachiya. This cake uses fuyu persimmons which are the short and squatty variety and unlike their hachiya cousins you don't have to wait until they are squishy-ripe to eat them. They have a sweet, honeyed flavor with a bit of vanilla and spice that makes them the perfect match for this spicy ginger cake. Make sure to have some unsweetened whipped cream or crème fraîche on hand to serve; a bit of something cool and creamy helps to balance the sweet persimmon slices and extra spicy cake.

I made another version of this cake a couple of years ago with poached quince. It's also great with pears or apples.

Persimmon and Ginger Upside-Down Cake 
adapted from the Macrina Bakery and Cafe Cookbook

For the Topping

3 Tablespoons soft butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch salt
4-5 firm, but ripe fuyu persimmons

For the Cake

1 cup butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup molasses
2 Tablespoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 325º. Butter a 9 or 10-inch springform pan with high sides and line the bottom with an  circle of parchment paper.

For the Topping

Peel and slice the persimmon into 1/4-inch slices (a y-shaped peeler is great for this task).  In a medium saucepan combine the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cook over medium heat for about 1 minute. Pour the mixture into the bottom of your lined pan, then arrange the fruit on top in a decorative pattern making sure that the bottom of the pan is covered. Put pan aside.

For the Cake

1. Cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, add the grated ginger and zests. Mix for 1 more minute.
2. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs one at a time. Then slowly pour in the molasses.
3. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
4. Alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the batter, being careful not to overmix.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until deep golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then invert onto a plate and gently peel away the parchment paper.

Eat warm with a dollop of whipped cream, crème fraîche  or a scoop of ice cream. This cake is best the day it's made.

fuyu persimmons

Monday, November 11, 2013

Fall Fruit Recipes and a Simple Apple Galette

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The apple galette above was made with my tried and true method: Roll out a circle of pastry (this time it was rough puff pastry, 12'' wide, 1/8-1/4 inch thick), top it with a generous layer of jam (plum in this case), add some sliced fruit (apples with the peels on because I am a lazy rebel), then paint an egg wash on the pastry, sprinkle the whole mess generously with coarse sugar and bake at 375º  25-35 minutes or until deep golden brown. It works like a charm every time.

Here are some more ways, from this site and others, to use all of the glorious fruit available right now. If you have any favorite fall recipes, please share them in the comments below.


Apple Butter
Classic Apple Pie
Apple Yogurt Cake
Apple Cider Donuts
Brown Butter Apple Pie Bars
Unfussy Apple Cake
Apple, Cranberry and Quince Pie
Roasted Apple Scones with Ginger
Apple Cider Caramels
Apple Jelly with Lemon Verbena
Caramel Apple Cider Pie


Quince and Cream Cheese Danish (GF)
Cranberry Quince Preserves
Quince Custard Cake
Quince and Vanilla Sorbet 
Membrillo (quince paste)
Quince and Meyer Lemon Meringue Pie


Lebni Tart with Persimmon and Pomegranate
Persimmon Bread
Persimmon Scones
Chocolate and Persimmon Tart
Broiled Persimmon with Mascarpone

Concord Grapes

Concord Grape Pie
Concord Grape Jam and Handpies
Concord Grape Shrub
Concord Grape Sorbet
Concord Grape Juice


Pawpaw Sorbet
Pawpaw Creme Brûlée


Pumpkin Donuts with Buttermilk Glaze
Caramelized Pumpkin Puddings
Pumpkin Oat Bread
Pumpkin Pancakes
Spiced Pumpkin Scones
Squash Harvest Loaves
Pumpkin Hazelnut Coffee Cake


Pear Vanilla Dutch Baby Pancake
Poached Pears with Warm Chocolate Sauce
Black Sesame and Pear Tea Cake
Pear and Buckwheat Pancakes
Pear and Gorgonzola Pie
Maple Cheesecake with Roasted Pears

Happy Fall Baking!

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Campfire Crisp

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A few weeks ago, some friends gathered upstate on a perfect fall day for a pig roast. While the men folk manned the rotisserie I go to work on dessert, and inspired by Kelsey's camp cobbler, I decided to give dutch oven cooking a try. I still had a mess of apples left from my apple picking adventure and I knew a crisp would be just the thing to feed our crowd so I packed up all of the dry ingredients for my favorite crisp topping in a ziploc bag then mushed (technical term) the butter in when I was ready to bake. For the fruit portion of the equation, I chopped up the apples and tossed them in a buttered dutch oven with a lonely quince, a handful of concord grapes, and a bit of sugar and spice. I put the dutch oven over indirect heat, put some coals on top, and hoped for the best.

Campfire Apple, Concord & Quince Crisp

Make sure to not let the dutch oven sit directly on the fire and check it every 10 minutes or so to see if it needs to be rotated away from the flame, a set of heavy duty fire gloves works great for this. If you don't have quince or concord grapes, just use an extra apple or two.

5 pounds baking apples, about 10 - peeled (or not) and chopped into medium pieces
1 medium quince - peeled, cored and finely chopped
1 cup concord grapes cut in half and seeded
juice and zest of one lemon
juice and zest of half of an orange
1/2-2/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt

Crisp Topping 

6 ounces soft butter
3.5 ounces rolled oats
2.25 ounces all purpose flour
2.25 ounces whole wheat flour
5 ounces brown sugar
1/4t baking soda
1/2t salt

Combine all of the filling ingredients in a dutch oven with a lid.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, flours, sugar, baking soda and salt. Add in the butter and use your hands to work it into the mixture until it holds together in medium-sixed clumps. Sprinkle it evenly over the filling. Alternately, pack all of the dry ingredients in a ziploc bag, then when you are ready to bake, toss in the soft butter and mush it all around until it is evenly incorporated.

Place the dutch oven on a few rocks above the fire, then put about 5 (big) hot coals on the lid. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is browned, rotating every 10 minutes or so to ensure even cooking.


And yes, that is the back end of a whole pig up there in that photo. Sorry if anyone is offended by that image.