I write award-winning historical romance about pirates, privateers, smugglers and the occasional possum.
I was at the farmers market yesterday, and it was overflowing with ripe, orange persimmons. Persimmons played a role in Smuggler's Bride, as kidnapped heiress Julia Delarue cooked her way into the good graces of smuggler Rand Washburn:
“I have to hunt and fish to keep food on the table,” Rand said. “I can’t be spendin’ all day doin’ women’s work!”
“If it is women’s work, it is not work this woman ever did. At the estate where I lived there were laundresses who did the cleaning for the entire household. I can cook better than you can, but it seems to me that if you have experience doing laundry, then you can continue to do a better job than I would. Not to mention that if I am spending all my time doing laundry I won’t have time to make the pork pie I was planning for dinner. With persimmon cake for dessert.”
There was something wrong with this logic, Rand knew it, but he couldn’t come up with a good argument. It became even harder to think about it when Julia waltzed past him into the house carrying a plate and leaving behind an aroma of griddle cakes, syrup, and woman.
Julia's Persimmon Cake
Preheat oven to 325F
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup margarine, butter or coconut oil
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1 cup persimmon pulp--approx. six small very ripe Florida persimmons
½ cup chopped pecans
To get persimmon pulp: Take very ripe persimmons, cut in half, scoop pulp out. Remove pithy seed area, pulse a few times in food processor.
1. Mix dry ingredients together.
2. Cream sugar and butter, add eggs, add dry ingredients, pulp and nuts.
3. Pour mixture into standard loaf pan (grease and flour pan, if not nonstick model), bake 1.25 hours. Let cool ten minutes, remove from pan.
Freezes well. You can also try baking it at 350F for 1 hour, depending on your oven.