Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Honey Roasted Persimmons

There are so many vegetables around at the moment and fruit is a little thin on the ground. To save me turning into a cabbage I felt I needed something other than a clementine to lift me out of my Savoy stupor. Persimmons (or Sharon Fruit) were something that I had never tried; for some reason they were forever unobtainable. I did manage to get hold of them eventually and was then thoroughly perplexed as to what to do with them.
My dilemma was ended when I asked Twitter how to deal with the situation. Roasting them in honey was my favourite suggestion and so I went about constructing honey roasted persimmons. I was very excited.
I had three persimmons to deal with and not a clue where to begin. The leaves didn't look particularly appealing so off they came with a little persuasion. Slicing them in half also seemed like a solid start. It was sort of apple meets peach but they smelled of nothing in particular.
I thought they may brown quickly after being cut but they seemed fine. Drizzle merrily until you feel there is enough honey and then put them in the oven at 180C for 20 minutes. I wanted them to retain a little firmness but also be nice and squishy at the edges.
To go with the roasted fruit I mixed a little vanilla paste into some crème fraîche for a nice bit of acidity to cut through the anticipated sweetness.
There are two kinds of persimmon; astringent and non-astringent. After all the effort and the waiting, this was nothing like I thought it would be; turned out I must have had the astringent ones. It was like chewing on cotton wool dipped in rhubarb juice. It was powdery, tasteless and turned my mouth into sandpaper. I was fearful of having to get veneers after eating it.
I asked my greengrocer what went wrong and she said either I was unfortunate enough to have the astringent type or it was past its best. Initially I was going to cast this post aside but I thought it would be helpful in preventing others from being sorely disappointed.

14 comments:

  1. Oops! Yes, they're funny old things. I'm sure I've had a delicious persimmon but I can't remember where. I've definitely had mealy and tasteless ones that made me go "bleah". Never tried cooking 'em though!

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  2. I've had trouble with persimmons, too. Had six in the fridge, glowering at me, for ages and just didn't know what to do with them. Made an oven-roasted dessert very similar to yours except I sliced them, with similar results. Decided to try making small batch jam with the rest. Don't ever try making Persimmon jam. The fruit just doesn't seem to want to change consistency, no matter what you do with it!

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  3. I've heard they're tricky and haven't tried them for that reason. They look awfully cute though, what a shame!

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  4. Hi Caroline. Admittedly I don't know alot about persimmons. They are not local to my area and though I can buy them this time of year I have not eaten them much. I did make a Persimmon Pudding with Hard Sauce that was fantastic (it's on my blog) so it featured the flavor but nestled amidst many other flavors too. I learned some from yout post, thanks!

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  5. I'm so glad you wrote this post! I've been passing these guys in the grocery store and almost picked them up a few times. Now I'll know what to look for!

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  6. I simply love this simple recipe of roasting the persimmon and this fruit has been on display in the supermarket I frequent. I am going to buy some and roast it and yes, serve with the cream. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Thanks for sharing even if it did not turn out the way you expected. Now we know. I think we should share not just pretty, delicious food but what we learned in the process as well. I had no idea about the two different types. This is one of my mom's favorite fruits. I will have to tell her.

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  8. I am Italian and I am mad about sharon fruits. In my region in the north of Italy we grow them but they are very different to the ones you get over here.
    They are sweet just like jam.
    They need to be very very ripe in order to be eaten.
    They should be very soft not hard at all. To ripen them you need to leave them in a warm place for some time and never store them in the fridge.
    If you eat them when hard you could seriously get a bad tummy ache.
    The problem is they don't travel very well so they are picked when raw and sold still when they are raw and they are inedible.
    So, as you said, they are very disappointing indeed.
    Congratulations for your blog. Very interesting!

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  9. I've never had a bad persimmon so, to me, this recipe sounds fantastic. Love the idea of throwing some vanilla in with creme fraiche!

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  10. I have a blogging friend in Japan who recently harvested literally hundreds of Persimmons from a tree in a relative's garden, and he said they were fantastic! Amongst other things he made jam, which was allegedly good. Do you now know whether there is a way of telling the astringent ones from the non-astringent ones BEFORE you buy??

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  11. Looks delicious! Thanks for sharing! :)

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  12. Sorry for the late reply, but I found your post just now and your recipe sounds amazing! It would probably taste better if you had soaked the persimmons in vodka (or by wetting a paper towel with the vodka, wiping the persimmons with it, and sticking the wet towel and persimmons in a ziplock bag) for a couple days, which takes out the tannins that are found in the unripe persimmon variety you used. Or if you used the other variety of persimmon that looks flat and round (it is sweet when still crunchy). The kind you got is supposed to be eaten when softened and scooped with a spoon. All of these ways of eating this beautiful fruit is delicious, sweet, and amazing!

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