This Persimmon Cake is a delicious gluten-free dessert that’s simple to make and a great way to use the soft-fleshed orange persimmons that show up in the late fall and winter. The cake has... a soft mellow flavor and a cheesecake-like texture that makes for easy eating, especially if you are on a bland diet or just feel like something sweet, soothing and yummy.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease an 8-inch cake pan.
Scoop out the flesh from the halved persimmons into a large bowl. Beat together with the ricotta and sugar until smooth, then beat in the egg yolks one by one. Stir in the citrus zest.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together the almond flour, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Fold into the persimmon mixture with a spatula until all the flour been absorbed. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, use a hand or electric whisk to beat the egg whites and the cream of tartar together until soft peaks form. Use a spatula to fold a spoonful of the egg whites into the persimmon batter to break it up, then gently fold in the rest of the egg whites. Don’t over mix. The mixture should have some streaks of egg white in it.
Pour into the prepared baking pan, and bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes. Turn the heat down to 350 and continue to cook for 15 to 20 minutes more, until the top is brown and the cake is puffy yet firm. Cool on a rack — the cake will fall as it cools.
While the cake is cooling, boil the lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan until a thick syrup coats the back of a spoon. Drizzle immediately onto the cake. Serve at room temperature.
For a creamier texture, bake the cake in a bain-marie filled with hot water.
If persimmons aren’t available, you can substitute with a couple of medium-sized poached pears. Be aware that the cooked cake will be a pale brown and not the creamy white you’d expect given the ingredients.