I LOVE persimmons! I am lucky to know someone with a huge persimmon tree who gives me persimmon pulp to freeze each year around the holidays. I realized I still had two tubs from last year in my freezer. It was time to use them to hopefully, make room for more! Since we began making ice cream last summer with the "Sunday Slow Scoopers", I have thought about trying persimmon ice cream. I searched the internet, and chose a recipe from Bon Appetit October 2008. I was fascinated by the black peppercorn syrup. When shopping for persimmons, remember that there are two kinds. Hachiya persimmons have the pointed bottom, and get nice and squishy when they are ripe. These are used for baking. Fuyu (pictured above), are rounder and squatter, stay hard, and are eaten like an apple. They are great in salads.
Try a persimmon this year. They are a healthy, spicy, delicious fruit and only about 30 calories each!
Here is the step-by-step:
Put 1 1/2 teaspoons of black pepper corns in a skillet on medium heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes until they begin to smoke and pop. Remove from heat, and let cool. When they are cool, crush them with a mortar and pestle, (or put them in a ziplock bag and crush them with a meat mallet).
Transfer pepper to a small saucepan. Add one cup of water, 3/4 c. sugar, and a scant 1/4 t. salt. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil until reduced to 1 cup (4-5 min.)
Strain pepper syrup into a large bowl. It will be a lovely dark amber color. Set aside.
Cut, seed and scoop the pulp from 8 large ripe Hachiya persimmons into a blender. Puree persimmons, and strain to get approximately 2 cups. Add persimmon puree, and one cup of cream to pepper syrup and chill mixture. After tasting the mixture, I also added some cinnamon.
Well, you know how it goes. You make ice cream, then you feel like baking something to go with it. I still had more persimmons!
I found this recipe for Hachiya Persimmon Cake on Rachel's Fresh Approach Cooking blog.
4 to 6 very ripe, hachiya persimmons, yielding 1 1/4 cup pureed pulp
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups unsifted flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp each fresh nutmeg and ground cloves
3/4 cup butter
½ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup buttermilk
1 tsp orange zest
Preheat oven to 350F.
Puree persimmon pulp until smooth.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon.
In an large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and combine well. Add the persimmon puree. Add half the flour and just combine. Add the buttermilk and persimmon puree and just combine. Add the remaining flour and stir until it just comes together, then stir in the orange zest.
Spoon into a 9 inch cake pan that has been greased with butter. Bake for 40 minutes, or more until knife comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a platter to cool completely.
Before serving, dust lightly with powdered sugar.
This is also great served with a crème anglaise sauce or whipped cream with rum.
I used my mini-bundt pan, and cooked the cakes for about 16 minutes. They are light, moist, and the kitchen smelled delicious. When they were cool, I glazed them with a rum-butter glaze (1/2 stick butter, a big glug of rum, and enough powdered sugar to get the right consistency (about a 3/4 cup).
The recipe made 18 mini bundt cakes. We had two with ice cream, and the rest are in my freezer for holiday guests.