Baking with Persimmons and Some Childhood Memories

When I spotted the first persimmons of the season this past week, I almost broke out in laughter thinking about my childhood memories associated with them. Not all good, believe me.

Although I grew up surrounded by persimmon trees (we call them kakiak or caquis in Spanish), this was not a fruit we ate or knew how to cook with. Instead, the over ripe fruit would always end up smashed on the ground making a jam-like pathway on our way to school everyday.

My school was right next to a convent were the priests had their own vegetable garden and tons of fruit trees; persimmons amongst them. The trees were lined up right next to the sidewalk so when autumn came, boys loved climbing up and getting the hardest persimmons to use as shooting devices against us girls. I remember having many, many persimmon-impact bruises on the back of my legs. Thank goodness I can look back and smile.

If you have never had a persimmon, you must know that there are two types, which have different characteristics. The Hachiya persimmon is the variety I grew up with and unless they are very ripe, they are almost inedible when raw. They have an oval shape and are mainly used to make jams and cook with. The Fuyu persimmons on the other hand, are flat like a tomato and can be eaten raw like any other fruit. Some have large seeds inside, but some don’t.

I was surprised to find that everyone of my friends that walked into our kitchen this week asked, “what are those?”. I was surprised of how unknown they seem to be to some. I suppose their childhood memories don’t include persimmon fights.

Growing up, I don’t ever remember my mom baking any extravagant desserts, mainly because we grew up in the family pastry shop and we had abundant leftover brioche and pastries everyday. But I do remember her lemon, yogurt and olive oil cake that called for one yogurt container of this, three yogurt containers of that… So I took that idea and adapted it to include almond flour, muscovado and the traditional yogurt and olive oil. This makes such a moist cake and can be made alone or with basically any fruit.

The cool temperatures have also arrived in South Florida and at night I have been craving creamy desserts like these mascarpone and marsala sabayon verrines with pistachio and almond crumble and poached persimmons. I thought I lost my sweet tooth during the first months of this pregnancy, but I believe it is back and these did the trick.

Persimmon Upside Down Yogurt and Olive Oil Cakes

Makes about a dozen 3″ cakes

2-3 Fuyu persimmons, thinly sliced
1 Tbs butter
2 Tbs sugar

275 grams flour
30 grams almond flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
7 grams baking powder
pinch of salt
4 eggs
200 grams sugar
40 grams muscovado
Zest of 1 lemon
250 grams plain yogurt
225 grams light olive oil
2 persimmons, small dice
Squeeze lemon juice

In a large saute pan, melt the butter and sugar together. Add the sliced persimmons and cook until softened about 3-4 min on each side. Place them on the bottom of the cake pans and let cool. Proceed with cake batter.

Cut the two other persimmons and toss them in lemon juice.

In a large bowl, combine flour, almond flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the eggs with the sugar, muscovado, lemon zest, yogurt and olive oil. Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Fold in the diced persimmons.

Pour batter over the caramelized persimmons (make sure these are cool). Bake at 350F for about 15-20 min until golden brown and when knife is inserted, it comes out clean. Let the cakes cool before unmolding.

Poached Persimmon, Mascarpone and Marsala Sabayon and Pistachio Crumble Verrines

Makes 4-6 large verrines

Poached Persimmons

400 grams water
200 grams sugar
4 Fuyu persimmons, medium dice

Make a sugar syrup with the water and sugar by bringing them to a boil. Slowly poach the diced persimmons in the syrup until softened, about 10 minutes. Note that the persimmons might still keep “a bite” and not become completely soft if they are not very ripe.

Mascarpone and Marsala Sabayon

3 egg yolks
50 grams sugar
25 grams marsala
110 grams mascarpone
70 grams heavy cream, soft peaks

Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and marsala together in a medium bowl. Place this over a double boiler and cook until it thickens while constantly whisking. Make sure the water in the water bath is simmering not boiling.

When the sabayon thickens, remove from heat and whisk in the mascarpone cream. Cover with plastic wrap and let it cool in the refrigerator for about 1 hour. Then fold in the soft peak heavy cream.

To assemble the verrines, layer pistachio crumble, poached persimmons and the sabayon.


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93 Responses to “Baking with Persimmons and Some Childhood Memories”

  1. Looks gorgeous Aran. When I saw you tweet the photo of persimmons I went and bought myself a few knowing that I will see a recipe soon! I can’t wait to try this.

    For some reason I associate muscovado sugar with you. Maybe because I’ve seen a bunch of recipes that call for it. I have got to get in touch with local exporters to get my hands on some since our grocery stores don’t carry it.

  2. Are they also called Sharon fruit? they look really similar.

  3. Looks Beautiful! I love persimmons and grew up on them but I must admit it’s been a while since I’ve last had one. Now is the time!

  4. Aran says:

    Purple Foodie- if you cannot get it, you can certainly use dark brown sugar but muscovado has never been refined and it’s got a richer flavor. Hope you get your hands on some!

    Dham Nammond S.- yes, I just looked it up because I wasn’t sure but they are also called sharon fruit.

    Thank you!

  5. Kristin says:

    Beautiful photos and cute story! My childhood did not include persimmon fight, but did include lots of snowball fights!

  6. jillp says:

    Wonderful, wonderful post. I can’t wait to buy persimmons this weekend and try out the yogurt and olive oil cake. I only wish the weekend weren’t so far away!

  7. silvia says:

    Beautiful! You are fantastic!!!!
    I’am italian and my English is not good! But I’m in love of your photos!!!!

  8. bojana says:

    we call them japanese apples and i like to eat them really really ripe

  9. Thank you Aran! I’ve always seen persimmons in the grocery store but never knew how to cook them. I’ll definitely be giving the poached persimmon with mascarpone a try!

  10. Austin says:

    Lovely recipes Aran I just was thinking of what to do with the tons of persimmons from our persimmon tree! They grow so much, even faster than eating! Thanks for the recipe.

  11. Ayşe says:

    My parents love persimmons, I don’t… But I always remember them when I see it over here in the U.S.
    I think the kind we have in Turkey is the ones that have to ripen first, b/c the fruit vendor always keeps some ripened ones for my father… :))

  12. beautiful photographs and memories i must confess to have only ate persimmon overseas.

  13. Ele says:

    This is the most gorgeous blog that I’ve ever seen!!! You’re a great creative and talented Artist! Thanks for sharing! :-)

  14. Frenchie says:

    I actually didn’t know what a persimmon was until about a year ago. I have yet to eat one but your lovely stories and tasty desserts are a great motivator.

  15. such a beautiful post, my tree is not ripe yet, but i will be making these soon~

  16. Thanks for sharing those memories with us (ouch!). your creations are wonderful! So pretty and tempting!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  17. Dominique says:

    Thank you Aran, reading your blog is allways a delicious moment! I’ve never ate persimons…

  18. That is such a great idea!

    I never thought of using a persimmon in a slingshot. Thanks for the tip!

  19. Michelle says:

    I have a bowl of persimmons sitting upon a marble pastry board…
    olive oil on the shelf…
    and a glass jar full of sheep’s milk yogurt and the fridge…

    Why shouldn’t I drop everything I’m doing to bake these beautiful cakes?!

    I love this blog. Just love it.

  20. icicle says:

    Wonderful colors! I see persimmons in the market but haven’t ever eaten one — there were far more snowballs in my childhood too — but now I have a reason to get some. Thanks!

  21. Lauren says:

    I’ve never had a persimmon – the first time I’d heard of one was when my aunt used it to describe the colour of my cousin’s dress =D. However, I think that this would be a beautiful way to try them out!

  22. buhdoop says:

    I have no idea what a persimmon is, but with photos like these I want one!

  23. Vidazinha says:

    Here in portugal they are quite common, we call them dióspiros. I’ve never seen them in recipes before though, people here just eat them raw.

  24. I never really liked persimmon but seeing your pictures made me think twice

  25. anna says:

    I’ve just discovered the joy of persimmons and hope I can get around to making something with them instead of just eating one for lunch every day! They’re really great.

  26. Dragana says:

    What beautiful pictures and wonderful recipe combinations. You blog always impresses!

  27. Jennie says:

    Oh, I do love persimmons! Thanks so much for the recipes! I wanted to let everyone know that there is actually a THIRD kind of persimmon, one that is native to the U.S. This is Diospyros virginiana, the American persimmon is available only in the fall, right after the first frost of the season and is much smaller than the two persimmons you mentioned in your post. The American persimmon is wonderful in jam and can often be found at a local farmers market (though maybe not in Florida). Here’s a recipe and more info: http://straightfromthefarm.net/2007/12/18/crimson-holiday-jam/

  28. Orchidchef says:

    I love persimmons and we sometimes see them now in SA. However, we have Jackal berries, which share the same genus. Kids in rural areas cherish them and they look and taste very similar. I will try your wonderful recipes with them. Your blog is an inspiration!

  29. shaz says:

    Wow, great recipes and beautiful pics as usual. I love eating fresh persimmon and there is also a very yummy dried version (found in many Asian countries). Tried making cupcakes with them once, but these treats sound much more sophisticated!

  30. this looks delicious!!! i love love love your pics! congrats on your blog!

  31. dsnike says:

    so beautiful! I love the dishes too!

  32. ibb says:

    Egia esan, nik ez ditut inoiz erabili. Hor daude betidanik, baina jateko ez balira lez..jajaja.
    Ondo zaudela entzuteak posten nau.

    Ondo jarraitu.

  33. morgana says:

    Qué encantadora versión del bizcocho de yogur de toda la vida. Me encantaría probarlo, debe ser una maravilla.

    Ay, madre, las luchas con los cakis… En estos madriles de dios no había cosas de ésas pero ya se encargaban los chicos de usar otro tipo de proyectiles. Mira que son burritos a veces…

    Un besazo, Aran.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Pues tenian que hacer daño los caquis no?….me encanta que siempre utilizas furtas de temporada….bizcocho de yogurt con caqui que rico, este lo hago!!
    Bso Carmen Zh

  35. Ana says:

    Pues si que le has sacado partido a los kakis!! Y yo que pensaba que era la única, tengo pendientes unos financiers de kaki y pistacho…

    Como va todo??? Ya queda menos!!

    BEsos como siempre!!

  36. rosanna says:

    Me h encantado tu anecdota con los persimon. Aquí, en valencia, siempre hemos conocido los kakis, y desde hace 4 días tenemos los kakis persimon. A mí me encantan todos, desde pequeña, aunque recuerdo que me costó probarlos. Mi padre era adicto a los kakis y me daba a probar, pero yo les veía esa textura como viscosa… y no me hácía el ánimo de probarlos. Finalmente lo hice y me encantaron, claro.
    Yo asocio los kakis a las castañas, que son mi verdadera debilidad. Después de una comida un puñadito de castañas asadas y para terminar un kaki, esos son mis recuerdos de los otoños de mi infancia.
    Besos y gracias por tus fantásticas recetas.
    Hace poco probé tus roasted apples with crumble y quedaron tan deliciosas!!!! DE hecho te nombré en mi blog al colgarlas.
    Saludos,
    Rosanna de cosasconencanto.blogspot.com

  37. natalia says:

    Ciao !I just saw yesterday the first ones !!

  38. idu says:

    ai ene, kakiak!, gure etxera bidean bazen lehen kaki zuhaitz bat,, behin probatu nuen bat,, baina heldu gabe zegoen, oraindik gogoratu egiten naiz nola utzi zidan ahoa! Egia esan ordudanik ez dut besterik probatu, jeje

  39. kim says:

    @Dham: yes, these are called Sharon fruit in some countries.

  40. Your Photo’s look so nice! Im not a fan of these fruits, but maybe its time to give it a try with one of your recipe’s

  41. Aran says:

    Jennie- I never knew about that variety and I’ve never seen them before! Where do they grow in the US? I’m curious now about their characteristics. Thank you for sharing that!

    Ibb eta Idu- bai, EHan kaki asko baina beti lirrean amaitzen dabe ezta? Ni hona etorri arte probatu bez! Argazki horrek EHkoak dire… Zornotzako Larrea auzokoak! Mosu bet biori eta eskerrik asko!

    Thank you everyone for your kind words. Hope you give them a try!

  42. Nada says:

    We call it fruit KAKI..apparently as a cross between pears and apples..I have not tried..

  43. Li says:

    Aran,
    gorgeous pictures! i love the colours of autumn and persimmons. try getting hold of some Japanese dried persimmons – they are so delicious to eat on their own and I am sure you can cook with them if you wanted to.
    thank you for sharing your recipes with us. li

  44. montague says:

    never though of cooking with them!

  45. Barbara says:

    As usual Aran, your photographs are beautiful. They seem to have a dreamy quality about them which I like very much.

    I am ashamed to admit I have never cooked anything persimmon, but your recipe has inspired me!

  46. oh, persimmons are at the top of my favorite fruit category. WAY at the top. lovely, lovely, beautiful post.

  47. cindy* says:

    persimmons remind me of my mom…she loves them!

    my little brother used to throw plums at me when we were in grade school…there were plum trees along the entire route to school. i feel your fruit-bruised pain ;)

  48. Erika says:

    Por aquí no es muy común ver caquis pero de vez en cuando en alguna verdulería encontrás. Lo del bizcocho con yogurt me encantó! voy a ver si lo hago con peras. Cariños

  49. Mimi says:

    My grandfather had a persimmon tree in his yard and my mom would make a delicious persimmon fruit cake. Maybe it’s time to find that recipe. Great photos.
    Mimi

  50. Aran, I currently have 4 persimmons staring at me from my counter and I really have no idea what to do with them. I keep thinking “crisp, make a crisp”….would a persimmon make a good crisp??

  51. Valentina says:

    Aran,I love the recipes. I grew up eating this lovely fruit, caqui as we call it in Brasil. I had loads of the sweet and juicy but firm ones. When i moved to the UK I did miss the lovely ones we get in brazil. I will most certainly save these recipes to try them. I particularly like the cake with youghurt. belated congratulations on your pregnancy.

  52. Aran says:

    Christina Marie- what kind of persimmons are they? and are they ripe? you might have to cook them first and then add the crumble topping in case they are a bit hard but it should turn out nicely!

    Thank you for the well wishes regarding the pregnancy too. I read all the comments and I apologize if I don’t always answer one by one but they are much appreciated!

  53. They are fuyu. I don’t really know what a ripe persimmon is like…soft I’m assuming. They are still rather firm but bright orange (I saw some green at the farmer’s market). They didn’t seem particularly sweet…should I load ‘em with sugar?

  54. yo aprendi a adorarlos aqui en londres, fijate. Me encanto la receta, esta la hago seguro, besitos

  55. Mercè says:

    Fantastic, Aran! Last Saturday I got some persimmons at the farmer’s market. Now I have some recipes to try! :)
    xoxo

  56. i love this story aran, i can imagine you telling it…and i love persimmons–would love to have any of these–will have to make the verrines for sure…and package coming to you this week!

  57. I remember my childhood days whenever I see persimmons! I love it when I was a child. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  58. you have such a great sense of style in your shooting, it’s really nice. I love coming to your blog for many reasons but as a visual person that’s the main one.

  59. Inés says:

    Arrazoia duzu Aran. Larrea – batez ere komentukoak – kakiz beterik dago baina lehor lehorra utzen dizute ahoa Iduk dioen legez

  60. Inés says:

    Aran, zein polita argazkia.u horren ondoan Aita Santiren omenezko busto delakoa dago ezta?

  61. Aran says:

    Christina Marie- eat one and see how it tastes. if still not ripe enough, then i recommend you poach it in a vanilla syrup. just a little bit to soften it and then make the crisp. Let me know how it goes!

    Deb- ohhh… i can’t wait! thank you so much lovey! xx

    Penny- that means the world to me coming from you!

    Ines- bai, Aite Santiren bustoan ondoko arbolak dire horrek. Ai gure Larra… ze polite! eskerrik asko!

    Thank you!

  62. ale says:

    hola!!!l have just know you bye lupeshome blog… your blog is so so so so beautifull!!your images are increibles and full of art!!!todos los sentidos a flor de piel…de todo corazon te felicito por compartir tanta belleza,tanta delicadeza y tanta s delicias!!!!!miles de besos desde buenos aires!

  63. sodapop says:

    Oh Aran, those look so … so … supercalifragilisticexpialidocious … theres no other word ;) I have to try your pumpkin recipes on weekend.

  64. This is such an interesting post! Sorry to hear about the not-so-pleasant persimmon memories of yours. I’d never tried persimmon until two days ago; I bought a few to try – the hachiya variety – and read online about how to cut/eat. The source I found said to eat it when it is so ripe it feels like a water balloon on the outside. They were soooo good! My five year old immediately ate two singlehandedly. And have you seen what the cross section of them looks like? Beautiful:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/a_day_that_is_dessert/4028499678/

  65. I love persimmons and especially your photos!

  66. paula says:

    not sure I have ever tried one:( this looks beautiful.

  67. Lovely story…
    I grew up eating them too because my mother adored exotic things and we HAD to at least taste them.
    I never knew you could cook with them!? I saw them in Paris. I must go looking here and have the first of the season.
    Soon!
    merci
    Carolg

  68. Zerogluten says:

    Tienes siempre la capacidad de dejarme sin palabras y eso en mí que hablo hasta aburrir, es difícil, creemé.
    Besitos sin gluten.
    PD. sabemos el nombre de la pequeña?

  69. Amazing how you can make a winter table look so fresh and full of the lightness of spring! Your verrine sounds delicious and the pastries are really lovely.

  70. Thank YOU Aran for your great work! Oh this really took me back in time… Nice memories and dear once too.

    I’ve posted some of your picts. on my blog. Take a look at http://www.naomialice.blogspot.com

    I can’t wait to go in the kitchen and make some of your delights!!!!! Ciao :)

  71. simplesong says:

    oh how i love persimmons. they remind me of my childhood too. my grandma used to peel them for me + slice them up. love, love.

  72. Melinda says:

    My mother loves persimmons, and these look amazing. Your story was hilarious, thanks for sharing the memory!

  73. Nikki says:

    Are those lovely Anthropologie bowls I spy in the first shot? I love that store but we haven’t had one in Edmonton, Alberta until just recently…. blissful! Your photography is truly an inspiration!

  74. veron says:

    I have never baked with persimmons. Thanks for the inspiration and gorgeous photos, as usual, Aran.

  75. Kristine says:

    I’ve never had a persimmon. What do they taste like? The olive oil cakes really want me to try them… :)

  76. These are so beautiful! We have a fuyu persimmon tree and I’m always looking for new recipes to use them in. Thank you for posting!

  77. Cakebrain says:

    those beautiful pictures remind me that persimmon season is here! I’ll have to run to the market and get me some! I love fresh persimmons but have never even thought to use them in any dessert…partly because there are never any left to bake with! What a great idea you have…I’ll have to buy more!

  78. Bernideen says:

    What a unique recipe – just found you via Storybooks Woods!

  79. I never knew what these were until I started culinary school this year but I still havent tried baking with them, I think I will try your recipe!

  80. Lovely story, and lovely memories. Beautiful dish, of course, as well!

  81. J2Kfm says:

    you take such beautiful shots of the persimmons, against a white backdrop.
    almost heavenly.
    nice blog, it’s no wonder you’re in the Top 50. :)

  82. deluna.es says:

    Hi Aran, voy a tener que repasar mi inglés mucho mucho, me da pena no tener el suficiente nivel para entender bien las recetas, esa sopa y la tarta para “in the kitchen…”, los pastelitos de avellana, el postre de chocolate y remolacha, y yo sin enterarme, buaaaaa!
    Musus. Luna

  83. su says:

    Que rico todo! y que fotos!! a nosotras los chicos nos tiraban piedras y también intentaban vernos las “fotos” besos

  84. Glad you got such sweet cravings Aran, coz they are pretty infectious. I’ve just made a persimmon flan, my first ever foray into this fruit. Was here looking for persimmons much earlier & am chuffed to find this now. our markets are flooded by both fuyus & hachiyas.Gorgeous pictures…fresh & exciting & very Fall!

  85. amazhang says:

    I absolutely love persimmons, beautiful post!

  86. phoenix says:

    Mmmm…persimmons! I love persimmons, but would never have thought to bake with them. I’ll have to give this a try! Thanks for opening my eyes to new alternatives :)

  87. jm says:

    Hi Aran!
    I’ve been a follower of your beautiful and informative blog for months now and this weekend I finally tried one of your recipe. I too, am a big fan of persimmon and was happy beyond belief to read your recipes. I served your poached persimmon with mascarpone/marsala sabayon for a Halloween get together and it was a hit! It was easy to make and a nice refreshing treat after an all day binge on Halloween candies.
    I love your blog and I look forward to trying out many more of your recipes. Have you ever thought of doing a cook book? I’d be the first one to order on a presale list. Have a great day!

  88. Aran says:

    JM- so glad you enjoyed it! thank you!

  89. Aran, I grew up with a persimmon (fuyu) tree in the backyard and still get them from my dad. I have lots of memories of climbing the tree to pick persimmons. I’m surprised that more people don’t know about these delicious fall fruits. Your persimmon creations are beautiful!! Can’t wait to try them.

  90. I wanted to know if I could use a large cake pan to make these. I do not have 3″ cake pans. Let me know what you think. I do have 4/5″ cake pans but they are 2″ deep. Thanks!! And they look soo good.

  91. Aran says:

    Manger La Ville- yes you can use larger baking pans but remember baking time will also be longer. Hope you like it!

  92. Samantha says:

    Hi there

    I love your site!! You should check out Poetry of Food, poetryoffood.com, they have a great article on the Paris Macaron Marathon, it is under a columnist called Enfant Terrible.

    A very cute story!!

    Keep up the good work

  93. Frederik says:

    Hi! This is the first time I hear about Persimmons! I love mascarpone and marsala sabayon, so I’ll try to find some Persimmons and make the recipe!
    Now I can’t because I’m travelling to Argentina, I’ll stay in an apartment for rent Buenos Aires , but when I return I’ll do it and then I’ll tell you!

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