Pear & persimmon cakes
I was sitting in my living room yesterday afternoon writing up this post with views of a beautiful blue sky against the gigantic London plane tree that spans practically the entire length of our apartment. Blue skies and sunshine are really welcome this time of year, even if it means that it's been a little bit colder than usual. This kind of weather reminds me of crisp fall days back home in Ottawa. It's been so chilly around here that we were even lucky enough to glimpse a few snowflakes on Friday - I literally jumped from joy at the office when I heard news of the snow and sprinted over to the nearest window to make sure I didn't miss it. Yep, that's what it's like to be a Canadian living in London - we sometimes long for those white winters, cold as they can be.
I've been run down with a pretty bad cold for the last couple weeks and with work being quite busy in the lead up to the holidays, I've had to slow down on the blogging front. I took the photos for this post a few weeks back but haven't had the energy to write it up. This weekend I'm finally starting to feel like myself again and am very excited to share the recipe for these sweet little cakes with you!
I first tried making a version of these about a year ago when Emma Galloway from the beautiful blog My Darling Lemon Thyme posted a recipe for little plum, lemon and olive oil cakes. I don't think I had any eggs in the house at the time but I had some beautiful fresh plums, so I thought I'd attempt making the recipe anyway with a vegan egg substitute. The recipe turned out beautifully with a few small tweaks and changes, and it became a favourite around here for a while, especially when plums were in season.
I decided to adapt the recipe further to make a seasonal variation of the little plum cakes based on the fresh produce that's been available around my local Bermondsey markets lately. I ended up with this variation made with pears, persimmon and warming spices like ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do around here!
Pear & persimmon cakes
This recipe is adapted from Emma Galloway's recipe for little plum, lemon and olive oil cakes. I made some changes to make the recipe vegan and to give it a wintry twist by making use of sweet pears and persimmons instead of tart plums and by adding warming spices to the batter in place of lemon.
- 1/2 ripe pear, thinly sliced
- 1/2 ripe persimmon, thinly sliced
- 3 flax 'eggs' (3 tbsp ground flax seeds + 9 tbsp lukewarm water, left to sit for about 10 minutes to thicken)
- 1/3 cup | 40g icing sugar, plus more for dusting
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch ground cloves
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp vanilla powder (or vanilla extract)
- Scant 1/4 cup | 40 mL olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups | 150g almond meal (ground almonds)
- 1 tbsp superfine brown rice flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1/2 cup | 120 mL water
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius | 355 degrees Fahrenheit. In a muffin tin, place 2 strips of parchment paper forming an 'X' in the bottom of the muffin hole with the edges hanging over (see photos above) for a total of 8 muffin holes (this recipe yields 8 little cakes). Place 2-3 slices of fruit of choice (I chose not to mix the pears and persimmons, but feel free to use a combination if you like).
Place the flax eggs, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and vanilla in the container of an immersion blender, and blend for 1-2 minutes until everything is well combined and thick. Drizzle in the olive oil while continuing to blend until incorporated.
In a separate bowl, combine the almond meal, brown rice flour, baking powder and sea salt and mix to combine. Pour over the flax egg mixture plus half a cup of water and stir until just combined. Spoon the batter over the fruit evenly between the 8 prepared muffin holes, and bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Allow the cakes to cool in the tin for a couple minutes before turning them out on a wire rack to cool down further, carefully peeling off the parchment paper. Dust the little cakes fruit side up with additional powdered sugar just before serving.
Serves 8. The little cakes can be stored in an airtight container for a couple days.