Posts tagged fuyu persimmons

Fuyu Persimmon and Date Upside-Down Cake

persimmon and date upside-down cake

Once the weather starts to cool down a little, and the leaves begin to turn various shades of gold and red, I reconcile myself to the fact that the time for peaches and watermelons is over. Yet as much as I love summer fruits, I shed no tears at their passing season. By this time I’ve eaten my fill of all those lovely stone fruits and melons bursting with juices and flavors. I’ve eaten plenty of peach tarts, cherry pies, and apricots fresh and delicious. Sure, I’ll miss them at times during the year (and I even have a stash of frozen cherries in the freezer for a holiday trifle I’ll make in about a month), but it is now time to move on. So instead of mourning the summer crops I have thoroughly enjoyed for months, I am embracing the amazing fall harvest. At the top of this list is the Fuyu persimmon — hands down my absolute favorite fall fruit.

As I mentioned in my Fuyu persimmon post last year, Fuyus should not be confused with Hachiya persimmons. Unlike the naturally astringent Hachiya, which needs to be so ripe it should look like a bag full of goop by the time you can eat it, Fuyus are sweet and firm when they’re ready. With Fuyus, you can just peel and eat. They’re amazing served fresh in salads or cooked in couscous and tarts. My favorite new fall dessert, however, is a Fuyu and Date Upside-Down Cake.

fuyu persimmons

I came up with the idea for this cake after eyeing a pineapple upside down cake recently. I loved how pretty the pineapples looked on the cake and then began to imagine how slices of Fuyu persimmons, with their natural star inlay, would look. As I had some fresh dates on hand, I decided to throw those in as well, along with some cinnamon and nutmeg to give the cake some spice.

After setting the lovely sliced Fuyus — which look like orange sand dollars — in butter and sugar, I added some chopped Fuyus and dates to the cake batter. And of course I used my trusty cast-iron pan so I could cook the persimmons in the butter and sugar first on the stove top and then just add the batter and place the whole thing in the oven. The result was truly something you could only get in the fall months: the chopped persimmons and dates inside the cake gave the dessert a wonderful sweetness while the whole persimmon slices looked quite pretty on top.

Raw or cooked, Fuyu persimmons are a special fall treat that will only be available for a short while. So take advantage of them up while you can.

piece of cake

Fuyu and Date Upside-Down Cake

Makes: one 8-inch round cake

Ingredients:

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter (1/2 of one stick) softened
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk (preferably whole milk)
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp each cinnamon and nutmeg
3 persimmons (2 sliced into 1/4-inch slices and one chopped into cubes
1 cup fresh dates pitted and chopped
1/2 cup chopped walnut or almonds (optional)
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp sugar or brown sugar

Preparation:

1. In a medium sauce pan (an 8-inch round cast-iron pan if you have one), heat the 2 Tbsp butter until melted and bubbling. Add the sugar and caramelize until a light golden brown if using regular sugar or until melted if using brown sugar.
2. Lay the persimmon slices in the pan. Turn off the heat and set aside. If using a separate pan for baking the cake, pour the caramelized sugar and butter into the baking pan first and then lay the persimmon slices on top.
3. Beat sugar into butter using a stand mixer or by hand until fluffy.
4. Whisk in the egg and vanilla until fully incorporated.
5. Add the milk, mixing it in thoroughly.
6. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg in a separate bowl.
7. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just barely incorporated.
8. Mix in the chopped dates and Fuyu persimmons (and nuts if using) until the batter is combined, but do not over mix.
9. Gently lay the batter on top of the persimmon slices in your baking pan, being sure not to disturb the pattern you made earlier.
10. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until it is baked through.
11. With a thin sharp knife, separate the cake from the edge of the inside of the pan. Lay a flat plate over the pan and then, using an oven mitt, flip the plate over so the cake falls onto the plate.
12. Let cool and then top with powdered sugar.


Related Posts

Fuyu Persimmons

Hachiya Persimmons


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Fuyu Persimmons

persimmonsMany people seem a bit confused by persimmons. Do you cook them or eat them raw? Are they bitter or sweet? How do you eat them? It seems that whenever I buy some, either the person next to me in line or the cashier quizzically looks over and asks what I’ll do with them. Everyone seems to have heard a story about some brave soul who tried one and was rewarded with a mouthful of astringent yuckiness.

Contrary to popular belief, only one type of persimmon is astringent when unripe — the Hachiya persimmon. I won’t discuss the Hachiya today, other than to say that it is sugary and bursting with flavor when ripe and is the perfect base for puddings and fruit butters. Rather, I want to focus on the Fuyu, which is non-astringent, has a sweet and gentle flavor, and is often grown locally. It also happens to be delicious.

Fuyus are shaped like tomatoes and can range in color from light to deep orange. And, unlike Hachiyas, they can be firm when ripe (like an apple). You can cook with them or eat them raw. They’re great all by themselves as a fruit snack, can be cooked into stews or pies, or included raw in salads. Although you can wait until Fuyus get soft before you eat them, I think they are best when firm and crisp. They are also quite pretty when sliced as their seed holes make a natural star pattern. Just make sure they’re not too light in color (and definitely not greenish) as they’re only sweet when ripe.

persimmon slices

Persimmons are available all over the Bay Area this time of year. In addition to finding them at farmer’s markets and in grocery stores, you may also see them hanging from neighbors’ trees on walks around your block as they are a popular yard tree. (Not that I am advocating stealing your neighbors’ fruit. Just knock on their door and ask if you can have a few if they have an abundant crop. Chances are they aren’t eating the fruit anyway.)

Here are a few Fuyu persimmon recipes my family and I have been enjoying this Fall. The tart is one of my new favorites, with a sweet and delicate texture and flavor that is perfect for a cold evening. The couscous is fast to make and a great accompaniment to chicken, pork, or a vegetable stew. And, if you’re looking for something fresh, crisp and seasonal, try the salad, which is perfect as part of a family meal and pretty enough to serve to guests.

If you’ve never tried this fantastic seasonal fruit, I hope you give one of these a chance.

persimmon tart

Fuyu Persimmon, Pear and Walnut Rolled Tart

Makes: 10 – 12 servings

Ingredients:
1 puff pastry or pie crust
2 Fuyu persimmons
1 pear
1/2 cup currants
1 Tbsp orange zest
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup walnuts
1 tsp flour
1 egg scrambled
1 Tbsp white sugar

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Oil or butter a cookie sheet and set aside.
3. Chop persimmons and pears into 1/2-inch cubes.
4. Place persimmons and pear in a bowl and mix in the currants, zest, sugar, walnuts and flour.
5. Roll out your pie crust or puff pastry.
6. Lay out your pastry crust on the cookie sheet and then spoon the fruit filling in a long and full line in the center.
7. Fold the outer edges over the center, overlapping the ends.
8. Fold under the ends and crimp so you have a full seal.
9. If desired, brush on the egg wash and sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of sugar onto the top of the pastry dough.
10. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until fully baked.
11. If the top crust starts to brown too much, simply cover it with foil and continue to bake until finished.

couscous

Persimmon, Fennel and Almond Couscous

Makes: 4 – 6 servings

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped fennel
1 whole Fuyu persimmon peeled and chopped into cubes
1/2 cup chopped unsalted raw or roasted almonds
1 tsp dried thyme
1 cup couscous
1 cup hot water, chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt to taste

Preparation:
1. Chop onions, fennel and persimmons and set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pan and add onion and fennel.
3. Cook vegetables for about 5 minutes on medium heat, or until fennel and onions are translucent.
4. Add persimmons, salt, almonds, and thyme and cook for another 2 minutes.
5. Stir in couscous and then add hot water or broth along with a little salt to taste.
6. Turn off heat, cover, and let sit for five minutes.
7. Add in parsley, fluff the couscous with a fork and then serve.

Fuyu Persimmon, Pear and Pine Nut Salad

Serves: 4 – 6 people

Ingredients:
1 bunch of cleaned raw spinach, arugula, or other leafy salad green
1 Fuyu persimmon chopped into cubes
1 pear chopped into cubes
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 Tbsp sugar
Your favorite dressing (I like to use an oil and white balsamic vinegar blend seasoned with Dijon mustard and lemon zest)

Preparation:
1. In a pan, heat pine nuts on medium heat, toasting gently.
2. Sprinkle on the sugar and quickly incorporate it into the nuts so they become lightly coated.
3. Once the sugar starts to meld to the nuts, immediately turn off the heat so you don’t burn the sugar.
4. Place greens, persimmon, pear, and nuts in a salad bowl and mix with your favorite salad dressing.

Related Posts
Fuyu Persimmon Upside-Down Cake
Hachiya Persimmons

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