I had never heard of a Persimmon before moving to New Zealand, and I have to be honest, although they are a beautiful orange colour, it was a good few years before I tried one. Now I can’t wait for late Autumn when the shops are full of them. This juicy fruit looks a bit like an orange apple, although the flesh is far softer than an apple’s . Although the skin is thicker, it is edible and apart from the hard leafy bit on the top, there is no core to be discarded.
Originally a native of China, it has spread around the world over the last century and there are now about 200 varieties. Eaten fresh on it’s own or sliced into a salad, or even included in an energizing smoothie, you can’t go wrong. But recently I decided to substitute this in a peach pie that my Mom used to make and turns out, it also works really well as a stewed fruit. But you will want to peel it first though.
Baked in a cocoon of sweet short-crust pastry and smothered in freshly whipped cream, it’s easy to forget yourself and devour about half the pie. It’s one of those pies that is pleasantly sweet and light, and the perfect complement to end off a tummy-warming winter meal.
1 ready prepared sweet short-crust pastry pie shell
4 – 6 ripe persimmons, skinned and cut into slices/quarters
1 cup water
½ cup castor sugar
300 ml fresh full fat cream
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Prepare the fruit and place it, together with the water and sugar, into a saucepan over medium heat. Allow it to come to the boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about half an hour. The fruit becomes soft and breaks up quite a bit.
- While the mixture is bubbling away, prepare your pie shell, either making the pastry from scratch (Well Done You!) or use that frozen pre-made pastry that you purchased. Roll it into a single layer and place it into the pie tin. Add some baking paper and baking beads, dry beans, rice or pasta. All this does is hold the pastry into shape as it tends to make air bubbles otherwise. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the baking paper and beads/beans/rice/pasta. Return it to the oven for another 10 minutes or so. You don’t want to overcook it, just sufficiently baked to stop the fruit mixture seeping through the pastry, making it soggy.
- Remove from the oven and spread with the fruit filling. Return to the oven for a further ten minutes or until the sides of the pastry are a golden colour.
- Cool in the pie shell on a rack.
- Once the pie has cooled, whip the cream and spread it over the top of the pie.