Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Persimmon and apple crostata

All of a sudden we have a pile of persimmons. We got some in the produce box and someone gave the husband a nice-looking one at work. They're in season, you may know. We had some recently in a salad at Ragazza, and they've been popping up on blogs.

I like persimmons, although I doubt I would buy them. However, once they enter the house, I do my best to use them.

There's always the question of what to do, though. And I know for a fact I am not the only one contemplating this exact question! In the last month, my post about spiced persimmon chutney from two years ago has been the most popular one on my blog.

Incidentally, for fellow bloggers, don't you love looking at your blog stats? They never fail to surprise me. My all-time most popular post to date is strawberry shortcake (a bit unfortunate, since that recipe wasn't any good), followed upside-down plum cake, vanilla bean bundt cake, and crazy mango bars (which I love to read and be reminded of my beloved Frances--RIP baby girl!) I also like to see the searches that lead people to my blog. In addition to the expected recipe key words, I get a lot of dog-related questions, such as, "Can my dog eat olives?" and "Are dogs allergic to cabbage?" and a strangely popular one, "What happens if my dog eats persimmons?" (no joke). Apparently a lot of dogs out there are gobbling these odd little tannic fruits and sending their owners into frenzies. Perhaps I should add a canine diet and health page to my blog.

I myself will occasionally search for recipes (thus the chutney) and have come across persimmon bread, persimmon cake, persimmon preserves, etc. In the end, this week I fell back on an old basic recipe I've used a hundred times for a crostata. I've done it with blueberries, pears, and apples, among other fruits. The crust is very simple and since crostatas are free form I don't have to fret about my poor pastry skills.

This time I decided on a combination of apples and persimmons, and contrary to my usual method of just dumping all the fruit in a pile over the crust, I Martha-Stewarted the hell out of this thing and arranged the fruit into elegant little rows (elegant by my standards, sloppy by Martha's).

The result was lovely indeed, with one caveat, which is that although I sliced the persimmons rather thinly (I thought), they didn't quite cook enough. So while the apples were perfectly soft without being mushy, the persimmons were a shade al dente.

It was more than edible, though, the first night with vanilla ice cream and for the next couple of days for breakfast. The husband informed me from his cube at work that the mid-morning combination of the crostata with a latte was "dope." Indeed!

While I can't vouch for whether or not they are dog-safe, persimmons are a perfect fruit for humans to enjoy this time of year. They look like bright little jewels, have a curious texture employable in either a salad or dessert, and bear a distinctive, sweet flavor at home in a crumble, crisp, or this homey little crostata.


  1. Wow, so much of this resonated with me. Missing a beloved pet. Dislike of coconut (clicked on the mango bars). Crostata for breakfast. Crostata because it doesn't need to be orderly. ;-) You sound like my kinda gal.

  2. It must be something about strawberries - mine is for Strawberry Crumble.... As for persimmons, I like slicing them up and tossing them in some brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice, and letting them sit for a while.

  3. LOL, I found this post so amusing, especially about the part on searches, although with a name like "The Hungry Dog" I'm not really that surprised by yours. Mine are always a bit boring. I remember when I used to be "Cooking with The Single Guy" then I really did have some weird ones, all relating to dating and eating! Ha! Nice job on the crostata. It really did turn out Martha Stewart-like. I wonder if maybe it would help to blanch the persimmons before layering them? Otherwise, maybe use the fuyu instead of the hachiya versions. Still, apple and persimmon combo is definitely dope!

  4. Zoom: Ah, you don't like coconut either? We are in the great minority!

    Sam: Thanks for stopping by! I am looking forward to spending a little more time on your blog --I see you used to work at Omnivore--love that place and its fantastic owners!!

    Ben: Good idea on the blanching. I BET you got some, well, interesting searches for your old blog! :)

  5. Oh you should definitely add a canine health and diet page!

  6. sad fact: i couldn't identify that fruit based solely on the picture--i guess i've never seen the innards of a persimmon before! woe is me. :)

  7. I have always loved to look at persimmons, but never cooked with them. The color is worth it alone. Oh, and by the way, I just added to your stats on the Vanilla Bean Bundt...yum.

  8. I, too, love the stats, especially the part with the search terms. Someone in the last week found me by Googling "how to make fried camille" which worries me a little bit.

  9. Jessica: Maybe I shall!

    grace: It's time you gave them a try!

    Sue: That bundt cake WAS really good (even if it failed in the looks department)

    camille: That's very funny (though disturbing...)

  10. Gorgeous little tart and I think Martha would be proud ;) I found some persimmon jam I'd made from last autumn, might turn that into crostata, you've inspired me!

  11. I saw persimmons in the market last week too. I made a bread with them last year...perhaps I'll try your crostata. It looks marvelous, even though a tad al dente. You can't go wrong with a Martha-inspired design. :)
    (did someone actually ask if their dog could eat them?)

  12. shaz: Oh that would be lovely and you'd skip all the slicing!

    Barbara: Yes! Many people have asked if their dogs could eat them!

  13. wow...sounds scrumptiously tasty..
    first time your space..
    awesome recipe collection with inviting cliks..
    happy following you..:)
    do stop by mine sometime..
    Tasty Appetite

  14. I have been thinking about persimmons lately ( funny you should post). I was thinking about what fruit trees can grow in a North Florida climate. I remember reading that persimmons do-then I thought, "what the heck do I do with persimmons?"...You made a lovely dessert with yours.

    After reading your stats...I thought again.."why don't I ever look at my stats?" So, I am off to look at my stats.

    As always, love your posts.


  15. Jay: Thank you for stopping by! Looking forward to checking out your blog as well.

    Velva: I bet you'll be surprised by your top posts! I know I was.

  16. I for one grew up eating persimmons, my grandma had a tree in her yard. That crostata does look like good breakfast dope! Like you, the name of my blog probably accounts for some of the weird search terms that brings people over. The oddest ones include sinus cavity (perhaps because I eat a lot of wasabi), marine sump, and pollito alvbro (a chicken flavored lollipop).

  17. Yum. This looks tasty and pretty. I'm making this crostata (with pears and cardamom) for one of our Christmas desserts. A friend of ours back home unloaded a massive bags of persimmons on us (from his tree). I ate one per day as my sweet afternoon snack and shared the rest with co-workers and people stopping by our house. I find them delicious, but always take the first bite a bit tentatively due to scarring (of the memory kind) from a past acidic-skin experience. Happy eating :)

  18. foodhoe: Sinus cavity is indeed strange. Chicken lollipop, I'll need to look up that post on your blog, sounds like something I'd go nuts for. Happy holidays!

    Ash: Happy eating to you too! Say hi to Evan & your folks for me :)

  19. It certainly looks dope! I loved this post and all the people who get to you looking for advice on dogs. I have a similar issue in that people are trying to find info on house plants and like you, I've seriously considered adding a page to resolve this. Happy New Year!

  20. Agrigirl: Happy new year to you & yours!