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Persimmon Crisp

December 5, 2014

Third and Final Installation in the Persimmon Mini Series (but you never know- there may be a remake).

bowl of Fuyu Persimmons

It’s always my intention to fill up more pots posts than I actually do. But in the last few months, something’s been competing for my attention. The work that’s been on the back burner for a while has finally been moving to the head of the kitchen class. So the burners are full and I will figure out how to keep everything going without burning the kitchen down. Or myself (for those of you who know me, you know I kid you not).

I’m at work on a documentary, called Life On The Bridge! And, I just launched a website by the same name. The whole project is about overcoming obstacles and  choosing to live life fully. And that means creating and experiencing those moments of joy  that are all around. To read more, click here to go to the ABOUT Page and scroll down to read the November 2014 entry.

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Fuyus and HachiyasHachiya (left) and Fuyu (right)

Back to our persimmons. There are two types that are available in my market. Fuyu persimmons are tomato-shaped and are hard with a delicately sweet flavor. You eat them just like an apple. Bite in and enjoy. Or slice it up horizontally to see the lovely star-shaped pattern inside. I use them in salads and hot cereal too.

Hachiya persimmons are acorn-shaped and need to be extremely soft when eaten. Hachiyas are highly astringent in nature. That’s why you have to give them ample time to get soft and lose most of that astringency. If you buy them firm, they can take almost 2 weeks to ripen. The best way to eat a Hachiya is to cut it in half around the middle and scoop it out with a spoon. It’s very sweet and custard-y in texture. My local grower, Cecile, tells me she freezes them when ripe and slices them up to eat. She says it’s like eating the best sherbet.

With all this information on persimmons, I held a little persimmon workshop.

young student of persimmons
                              A very interested young student of persimmons.

[Yes, the troops  were in from Columbus for the week of Thanksgiving, and in the words of one of the home team fans, “it was grand to have them here.”]

For more pics of little BabyBee, please scroll to the end of the post.

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Back to the Persimmon Patter, Novio and I were headed to friends, Frank & Merle, for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner and I wanted to make something seasonal and special for them. I love apple crisps, who doesn’t? So I decided to go for a persimmon crisp, bursting with the color and flavor of autumn.

persimmon chunksI piled up chunks of persimmons in a deep-dish pan, tossed with a bit of lemon juice, sugar and a bit of arrowroot for a little thickening action (cornstarch is okay too). This would easily work in a 2-quart baking dish.

With a little help from my pals Ina and Deb…Not really my pals… more like pretend pals, this is what I came up with. I did a riff off the Barefoot Contessa’s Apple Crisp and I incorporated some ideas from Smitten Kitchen’s Breakfast Apple Granola Crisp  (click on highlighted names to link to original recipe) . That meant I made it less sweet and added  extras to the topping like almonds and unsweetened coconut.

I started out with butter… really good butter. I’m not messing around. This  Irish butter is made from grass-fed cows and the flavor doesn’t compare. (BUT if you go for regular butter or even swap out the butter for canola oil to make it dairy-free, it will all work.)

kerrrygold butter

unsweetened coconut sliced almondsThe combination of unsweetened coconut, almonds and a little cinnamon gives the topping a granola-like flavor and crunch.

topping mixI took the crisp to my friends’ house with the topping mix in a separate bowl. I put it on right before it went into the oven. It baked while we were eating dinner.

crisp to ovenAn interested  party oversees the work.

After about 50 minutes, it was browned and firm on top.

browned crispAnd very well-received.

half-eaten crisp

 portion of persimmon crisp
A serving of crisp, delicious at room temperature or warm.

Great alone or paired with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, coconut milk ice cream (vanilla or coconut) or a dollop of yogurt.

Persimmon Crisp

Inspired by online apple crisp recipes from Barefoot Contessa and Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients:

3 lbs Fuyu persimmons (7-8, depending on their size) peeled,  small chunks
2 T. lemon juice
2 T.  sugar
1/2 t. arrowroot (or 1 t. cornstarch)
1/2 t. cinnamon
pinch of salt
6 T. (or 3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 c. light brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 c. oats
1/4 c. sliced almonds
1/4 c. unsweetened shredded coconut

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Mix persimmon chunks with lemon juice, sugar, arrowroot (or cornstarch), cinnamon and pinch of salt in a deep-dish pie pan or 2-quart baking dish until fruit is evenly coated.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, almonds, coconut and another pinch of salt. Add diced cold butter and combine with fork or with your fingers until clumps form. (NOTE: If using oil for a dairy-free or lower fat version, simply stir all topping ingredients together until combined and spread over the fruit when ready to bake.)

Sprinkle evenly over the persimmon mixture and bake in the oven for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until the fruit is softened and crisp is browned and firm on top.

Let rest 10-15 minutes and serve warm. Also great at room temperature.

Serve with a large spoon. Makes 8-10 servings..

Terrific as a dessert with or without a scoop of vanilla ice cream or coconut milk ice cream (vanilla or coconut) or for breakfast with a dollop of yogurt.

coffee with crispcoffee and crisp

So where is that little student of persimmons?

Baby B 2There he is!

Baby B 3

Baby B 4

KB and BBKB with Baby B…
…and a persimmon.
 
Persimmon Crisp 
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