It’s been said that necessity is the mother of invention. Never has that phrase been more true than in regards to this year’s Thanskgiving meal. Days before the holiday, Seattle was hit by a small, yet uniquely crippling snowstorm, nearly stranding my husband and I at work, and causing me to frantically shop for the holiday without my grocery list. I did a pretty good job remembering most everything, but dessert, which was supposed to be a Peach Pie with Gingerbread Crust from the Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts, had been completely overlooked. Oops! So in my snowbound state, I scoured the fridge for what I could do with ingredients I had on hand. Persimmons? Check. A few past-their-prime pears? Sure. Add a frozen nub of ginger root, some cardamom pods, and I was in business. The resulting dessert was fantastic: a dense, rich, pudding-like bundt cake faintly spiced with fresh ginger and cardamom, glazed with a crazy-delicious Bushmills whiskey cream cheese icing. Perfect for holiday potlucks, lazy breakfasts and home-baked gifts, this recipe is one of my most delicious happy accidents! — Megan B. Click for pear persimmon pudding cake!
pear persimmon pudding cake with maple cream cheese icing
adapted from this recipe at Allrecipes
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1 cups milk
1 cups pear puree or pear sauce (you can use apple, but the pears add a nice texture)
1 cups pureed soft persimmons (freeze and thaw fuyu persimmons to soften)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
1 tsp. ground cardamom
Prepare a bundt pan with buttter & a light sprinkle of flour. Preheat oven to 325. With a mixer, cream butter and sugar together until it is light and fluffy, about 7 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. In another bowl, combine pear & persimmon purees with milk and ginger. Add 1/2 c of the liquid ingredients to the butter/sugar and mix for 30 seconds, then add 1/2 c dry ingredients, mix for 30 seconds and repeat, alternating between wet & dry, scraping the bowl down after each addition. Pour batter into prepared bundt and bake for 60-75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, and the cake pulls away from the edges of the pan. Invert out onto a rack, cool completely, and glaze with cream cheese icing (recipe follows).
whiskey cream cheese icing
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 tbsp. maple syrup
2 tbsp. Irish whiskey
2 tbsp. powdered sugar
Beat softened cream cheese with powdered sugar, maple syrup, and whiskey until fully incorporated. If too thick to pour over cake, whisk in milk or cream, one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Pour over cake and enjoy!