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Persimmons, love them or not?

Persimmons are a very sweet edible fruit widely cultivated and eaten in Asian countries. Our persimmon fruit are starting to turn a dark orange this week which is great as they are early. Persimmon fruit generally mature late in the fall and can stay on the tree until winter.

Best eaten fresh, however cooking them or even drying them work really well.
With different countries eating persimmons in different ways like

· China, like to dry them outdoor for three to four weeks before selling them as a dried fruit
· Taiwan, like to pop them into jars with limewater to remove any bitterness and sell them as crisp persimmon
· America, they cook them in cookies, puddings, salads and use them as a breakfast cereal topping. Persimmon pudding is very common! Always topped with whipped cream!

This week we are doing a Persimmon tart-tartin. The combination of the dark bitter caramel and the sweetness of the fruit makes this dish a winner. Try it with a bit of yoghurt.

Our Persimmon Tarte Tatin
(serves 6)

  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 50g butter
  • 3 persimmons, cut each into 8 wedges
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry
  • raspberry sorbet to serve

Preheat oven to 190*C. Place sugar and water in a small heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Cook until sugar dissolves, then bring to a boil, stirring continuously. Add butter, melt and allow to bubble until the mix turns a light caramel colour. Pour caramel into a 20cm cast iron (or oven-proof) frying pan. Remove leaves from persimmons and cut each one into 8 wedges. Fan out persimmon pieces over the caramel, leaving a 2-3cm gap around the edge. Stick the two puff pastry sheets together and cut into a circle the diameter of the pan. Lay the pastry over the persimmon and press the edges down so that they touch the bottom of the pan, forming a seal. Place in oven and bake for 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven, place a large serving plate over the frying pan, and carefully flip the tarte onto the plate.
Serve hot with delicious raspberry sorbet (or alternatively with ice cream of your choice).