Monday, September 10, 2007

Persimmon Tart

When we moved to our farm I noticed a strange little tree that was growing on the fence line of our back pasture. It bore a bright orange-red fruit and I soon discovered I owned a persimmon tree! I had to search long and hard for good recipes for this fruit - and I came back around to this very simple one that I wanted to share with you.
Persimmons are delicious whether eaten fresh, dried, or cooked. As a fresh fruit, they are unsurpassed. The taste of a fully ripe persimmon is superb, incomparable to any other fruit. Do NOT eat them fresh unless they are fully ripe!

Persimmon Tart
Makes 6-8 servings
***For dough:
1 stick (115 g) cold unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (155 g) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 to 4 tablespoons ice water
For filling:
3 persimmons, peeled, seeded and sliced 1/8-inch thick
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 stick (55 g) cold butter, sliced thin
Vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream
Make dough: Blend together flour, butter, and salt in a bowl with your fingertips until most of mixture resembles coarse meal, with the biggest lumps about pea-sized. Drizzle 2 tablespoons ice water evenly over and gently stir with a fork until incorporated.
When you squeeze a small handful of the dough, it should hold together without crumbling. If it doesn't, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring after each addition until incorporated (keep testing). Don't overwork the mixture or add too much water, or your dough will be tough.
Form dough: Divide the dough into 4 portions. With heel of your hand, smear each portion once across your work surface in a forward motion to help distribute fat. Gather dough together with a pastry scraper and form it into a disk. Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour.
When you are ready to assemble the tart, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). On a lightly floured surface roll out dough into a 13-inch round and fit it into a 10-inch tart tin, trimming the excess. Arrange the persimmon slices decoratively on the pastry shell, overlapping them. Mix the nutmeg and ginger with the sugar and sprinkle on top of the fruit. Top with butter slices and bake for 45 minutes or until the crust is golden and the persimmon slices are lightly browned. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

***In a hurry? As a shortcut you can use a refrigerated crust to save time...but it probably won't be quite as tasty!


Kari said...

Okay - I'm 43 years old and don't think I've ever tasted a persimmon. What does it taste like? Anything similar to it that you can compare it to?

PAT said...

The tart looks delicious, Julie. We used to make persimmon cookies. They are a spice type cookie. I don't think I have the recipe now, though.

Did you know you can predict the weather from the seed/pit of a persimmon? When the seed is cut open you'll find a knife, fork or spoon. I seem to remember the spoon meant a snowy winter. Now I'm curious and will have to google persimmon legend, to refresh my memory!


DebraK from ~the Bunnies Bungalow~ said...

Wow! That is mouth watering! I have never eaten a persimmon. Are they sweet?

Kathleen Grace said...

Thank you so much for this recipe! Our family has persimmons every Christmas with our advent tea and I can't wait to try this out. We usually just cut them up and eat them and they are so good! How fortunate to have your own tree!

Deb said...

I've never had persimmon ~ the tart looks delicious.

justabeachkat said...

Okay, I'm another one that has never had a persimmon. Kinda weird, now that I think of it. Please do tell us what it taste like. The tart looks wonderfully delicious though.


Nancy said...

Persimmons scared me until a few years ago when I actually tried one. Now they are, by far, my most favorite fruit of all times. So good!