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!
Makes 6-8 servings
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
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!