Happy Hanukkah to our loyal Meat Your Vegetables readers! We have an exciting Hanukkah giveaway (see details below on how to enter), but before I provide those details, let’s talk food! This year, I have a slightly non-traditional recipe for Hanukkah, my Olive Oil Persimmon Cake. Before this recipe came together, of course I was brainstorming some new latke or sufganiyot recipes, but then I thought about doing something a little different, and EASIER, might I add.
This cake is so simple, just a few ingredients like coconut flour, eggs, olive oil (of course) and diced persimmons. It’s the perfect cake for those who don’t like desserts that are too-sweet. And if you’re like me and don’t want to patshke with the thought of making homemade sufganiyot, this cake will do the trick. This cake is not only gluten free, but it’s dairy-free too, so go ahead and serve it with some parve iced cream, after you’ve devoured your brisket.
Olive oil is the obvious choice for a cake here, since olive oil is symbolic in the miracle of Hanukkah! Using the olive oil also keeps the cake from drying out. But now, let’s talk about the humble persimmon. Personally, I think they’re underrated and not utilized as much as these beautiful orange fruit should be. I love that persimmons are becoming more mainstream in some kosher cookbooks lately, like “Sababa” from Adeena Sussman and “Peas, Love and Carrots” from Danielle Renov.
Persimmons are a fruit that is typically in season from September through December and are common in Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines. There are different types of persimmons – the “fuyu” which is a firm, more squat kind of tomato-looking fruit. The “hachiya” variety have a more pointy-shape and are are eaten when they’re ripe or overripe.
You’re probably wondering what these strange fruits taste like? They fuyu variety cuts like an apple but tastes like a cross between a mango and a sweet bell pepper with almost a hint of cinnamon. And that’s exactly why I add cinnamon to this cake to bring out those flavors. There’s a rich and tangy sweetness yet mild flavor to these orange gems. For this recipe, I use the fuyu variety and kept the skins on. I love this variety for slicing into salads and it can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Persimmons also are loaded with vitamins A and B and have a good amount of fiber too!
I often find persimmons in my local grocery store but if you can’t find them, or just don’t feel too adventurous to try a weird new fruit, go ahead and use apples, or pears for this cake. Both would be delicious!