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Tuesday, November 18, 2014


As Michael and I packed up the gorgeous array of wrapped gifts and gifts bags from our reception, he handed me a small bag and said, "June brought some kind of fruit." I peeked into the bag and instead of tapping into my inner squeal, I actually screeched like an untamed tenor, "Persimmons! I love persimmons!" Yep, I did. It must have ricocheted off of every old plaster wall throughout the building, echoing, --immons, --immons, --immons. It's true, I adore persimmons. They're just so beautiful and odd.

Teetering on the edge of utter simplicity, persimmons are a very versatile autumn fruit. Technically, because of some sort of genus or something or other, they're actually classified as a berry, much like tomatoes. Although there are several varieties of persimmons, hachiya and fuyu are the most common. Oval shaped hachiya persimmons are very astringent and are best eaten when extremely ripe.  Their sweet mushy flesh is ideal for baked goods, cakes, tarts, pies, and various other desserts. Squatty tomato-shaped fuyu persimmons, on the other hand, are best eaten when firm and almost under ripe. Simply sliced or diced, fuyu persimmons are great tossed into salads or eaten as snacks.  That said, fuyus can also be cooked and treated like any other traditional autumn fruit.  With mango, banana, and apricot undertones, fuyu persimmons are fantastic sidekicks when paired alongside succulent roasted meats like duck, goose, turkey, or ham.

Wrapped in tissue and tucked into a gift bag, our dear friend had given us a mother load of fuyu persimmons. Total win. Sure, I could have tossed them into a kale salad and called it a day. Nope. With visions of holiday turkeys and hams dancing in my head, I roasted them.

Skillet Roasted Persimmons.

After coring the crackled flower ends from the persimmons, I sliced them half and nestled them into a large cast iron skillet. Feeling a bit dandy, I drizzled them with dark rum, covered them with heavy aluminum foil, and slid the skillet into a pre-heated 350 degree oven to bake/roast/steam for an hour. When they were fork tender, I drizzled them with local honey, fresh squeezed lime juice, and a sprinkling of turbinado sugar before sliding them under the broiler. When they started to blister and char, I pulled the persimmons from the broiler to cool.

To dial back the sweet factor, I finished with a heavy-handed dusting of flaky sea salt, additional fresh lime juice, and lime zest.

While the caramelized honey and sugar added a smoky deep sweetness to the subtly sweet flesh, the aggressive salt and lime zest provided a bright tangy crunch. A perfect combo.


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