What Can You Do With a Kilo of Persimmons?

They are all over the place at the moment – a vibrant splash of color in an increasingly grey landscape.   They are in season so it’s time to grab a few (or a lot) and find out what to do with persimmons!

Persimmons, which in Russian are called хурма (khur-mah) are a cross between an apple and a peach taste and texture-wise, though they belong more to the tomato family.  Very popular in Asia, they make a welcome annual appearance here in Russia each autumn and are eaten raw or preserved as dried fruit, jam, or used in puddings or cakes.  Foreigners tend to shy away from persimmons primarily because we don’t know what to do with them—or I certainly didn’t until I got out some books and started to research.

Persimmons turn out to be very versatile and to prove it, I set out to create four very different dishes: two sweet and two savory involving just one kilo of this autumnal favorite.  All are easy to prepare and involve a number of persimmon’s ideal partners.

Persimmon and Grand Marnier Puree:

My fellow Russia-based blogger, Potty Mommy, turns out to be quite a gourmet (why was I not surprised?) and in addition to giving me an amazing lunch last week, she also produced an impressive binder of recipes, amassed over the years and was able to instantly put her hand on a chocolate fudge cake, over which you should strew sliced persimmons.  It looked fantastic and I could see how the dense chocolate would pair nicely with the musky tartness of the persimmon.   I decided to do a riff on that idea and make a persimmon puree with Grand Marnier and pair it up with fudgy brownies.  Same idea…much less work!   And we’ll talk brownies very soon…

Persimmon Puree

Ingredients

  • 1-2 persimmon
  • (3 Tablespoons) 45ml sugar
  • (2 Tablespoons) 30 ml Grand Marnier

Directions

1. Cut the persimmon into quarters, then core and peel the slices.
2. Place peeled slices in a blender or food processor fitted with a steel blade. Puree until smooth.
3. Store in a clean glass jar for up to 2 days in the refrigerator.

Note

Serve with chocolate brownies, devil's food cake, and other chocolate desserts!

Persimmon and Apple Chutney

With Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner, I’m always on the look out for new twists on traditional elements, particularly since you have to really get out your Sherlock Holmes kit to run cranberries to ground in this town.  Enter:  persimmon chutney!   Paired with ginger, apples, raisins and the twin tangs of lemon juice and cider vinegar, this is sure to liven up the turkey and trimmings.  I found a fantastic recipe for this from bon appétit via epicurious.com, and made only one change: pulling the jalapeño out as an optional.  Not everyone wants to give thanks in a pool of perspiration.

Persimmon Chutney

Serves 2 cups
Prep time 45 minutes
Cook time 2 hours
Total time 2 hours, 45 minutes
Website Bon Appetit via Epicurious

Ingredients

  • (3 cups) 700ml persimmon, peeled, cored and cubed
  • (1 1/2 cup) 375 ml cider vinegar
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored, and cubed
  • (1 cup) 250 ml raisins
  • (3/4 cup) 175 ml dark brown sugar
  • (1/4 cup) 60 ml fresh lemon juice
  • (1 Tablespoon) 15 ml fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • (1 Tablespoon) 15ml lemon zest
  • (1 teaspoon) 5 ml ground coriander powder
  • (1/8 teaspoon) 0.5ml ground cloves

Optional

  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

Directions

1. Combine all ingredients except for the persimmons in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
2. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until mixture thickens but some juices remain. Stir frequently for about 25 minutes.
3. Add the persimmons and simmer until the fruit is tender, for another 5 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Store in a sterilized, non-reactive glass jar in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Persimmon with Cardamom Ice-Cream

I had a hunch that persimmon and cardamom would be a match made in heaven, and it turned out I was right.  I dug around the blogosphere and came up with an encouraging post from the ever-authoritive Tartelette  a.k.a. Helene Dujardin, author of “From Plate To Pixel” who gave me the idea to add the pistachios as a garnish.  I teamed cardamom up with allspice berries, which gave the creamy ice cream a real kick.  The real inspiration, however, was my new ice cream making gadget that I splurged on when I (finally finally finally) got my new Kitchen Aid mixer.  A happy day in the Moscovore Household!

Cardamom & Allspice Ice Cream

Serves 8
Prep time 1 hour
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 6 egg yolks
  • (3 cups) 700 ml heavy cream
  • (1 1/2 cups) 375 ml whole milk
  • (3/4 cup) 175 ml demerara sugar (use regular white if you don't have Demerara)
  • (3/4 cup) 175 ml white sugar
  • 5-6 green cardamom pods
  • 2-3 Allspice pods (whole)

Optional

  • persimmon, cored and sliced into 10 petal-shaped slices
  • (1/4 cup) 60 ml raw, shelled pistachios

Directions

1. In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan or dutch oven, combine the milk, sugar and cream over medium heat. Whisking periodically, bring the mixture to just shy of simmering.
2. whisk the egg yolks together until creamy and add to the milk and cream mixture. Whisk yolks in gently until combined
3. crush the cardamon pods and allspice berries with a clean mortar and pestel or the edge of a large chopping knife. Add to the mixture.
4. Stir mixture over low heat until it thickens so that it clings to a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Strain the mixture and chill, ideally overnight.
5. Add chilled mixture (the custard) to your ice cream maker and follow manufacturer's instructions. If you don't have an ice-cream maker, freeze the custard for a few hours, then place it in a blender or food processor and pulse about 10-12 times. Re-freeze, then pulse again. Repeat this four to six times until you have the desired consistency.
6. Serve chilled with fruit (persimmon pictured) and topped with fresh pistachio.

Chicken Salad with Persimmon and Pomegranate

I wanted to try something savory and something with pomegranate as well and this chicken salad invented itself.  With a light and citrusy yogurt dressing, I paired poached chicken with traditional elements of chicken salad such as celery and scallions, but added a twist with persimmon and pomegranate and topped it all with some lovely fresh cilantro.  The perfect centerpiece for a girl’s lunch or, it later occurred to me, as the filling for canapé.  This one is definitely a keeper!

Persimmon Chicken Salad

Serves 6
Prep time 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 6 whole chicken breasts, poached and shredded
  • 4 ribs celery, diced
  • (1 cup) 250 ml scallions, diced
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and cubed
  • (1 1/2 cups) 375 ml yogurt
  • (1/4 cup) 60ml mayonnaise
  • (2 teaspoons) 10 ml lime zest
  • (1/4 cup) 60 ml fresh lime juice
  • (1 Tablespoon) 15 ml Sumac
  • (2 teaspoons) 10 ml cracked black pepper
  • salt, to taste
  • (1/2 cup) 125 ml pommegranate seeds
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions

1. Poach the chicken breasts in a light broth or water with lemon juice and a few sprigs of thyme. Drain in a colander over a mixing bowl until cool enough to handle. Remove the skin and shred the breast meat from the bone. Set aside.
2. Zest the lime, then juice it.
3. Whisk the yogurt, mayonnaise, lime juice, lime zest, sumac, cracked pepper, and salt together in a mixing bowl.
4. Toss the chicken, celery, apple, and scallions with the yogurt mixture.
5. Garnish the salad with the persimmon, cilantro, and pomegranate seeds.

Note

This salad works well in canapes:  instead of shredding the chicken, cube it into 1/2 cubes.  Dice the celery, scallions and apples to smaller cubes.  Fill tartalette shells with the salad, then top with a cube of persimmon.

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All this from one kilo of persimmons!  So, don’t be shy, grab a kilo while they are still in season and see what you come up with!  Then come back and tell us about it here!

And please rate this post with the little matriyoshkas below…my designer Carey worked so hard on those, you can’t think!

 

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12 Responses to “What Can You Do With a Kilo of Persimmons?”

  1. Monday, November 7, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    We will be doing the chicken salad! Thanks!

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    • jennifer
      Monday, November 7, 2011 at 10:53 am #

      Thank you Moorea! I hope you enjoy it! I thought it was a lovely way to enjoy all those ingredients! Are there a lot of persimmons in Seattle?

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  2. Melissa
    Monday, November 7, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    Thank you so much for these recipes! We have persimmons in our area and my brother-in-law loves to harvest them. He makes a delicious persimmon bread. I’m sure Eli, my foodie hubby, will enjoy these new ideas.

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  3. Tuesday, November 8, 2011 at 12:48 am #

    And so I finally know what to do with these beauties! Thanks so much for the recipes – and the mention – hope to see you soon. x

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  4. wanderlust
    Tuesday, November 8, 2011 at 9:27 am #

    Jennifer – the thought of any of the above recipes in your most capable hands almost makes me want to rush back to Moscow. Hopefully I will make it home before the hurma get too squishy!

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  5. Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    I want the chutney! Only who will make it for me?

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    • jennifer
      Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

      I’ll be at the AWO tomorrow with a jar for you!

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  6. Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 6:05 am #

    Perfect timing… I kid you not when I tell you that my sister-in-law dropped-off a huge plastic bag filled with 30 хурмы. I told my wife, Natasha, about this article because we were at a bit of a lose as how we were going to consume 30 of little balls of sweetness. So “big thanks” ; ))

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    • jennifer
      Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

      Tim,
      I’m so pleased you and your wife found it useful! Let me know what you made! i took a jar of the chutney to an American Womens’ Meeting today that met with lots of enthusiasm. The Russian babushki were particularly intrigued! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!
      Jennifer

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  7. wizz95
    Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    1.5 chutney:)
    loved it
    great recipe

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  8. Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 8:56 am #

    Great ideas there! Pomegranates can made into sauce and can be a perfect addition to lamb steaks. Thanks for sharing!

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Five Ways to Eat Persimmons | Food & Think - Friday, December 2, 2011

    [...] fish or chicken. Or it can be cooked into a spicy chutney with apples and raisins, as Moscovore recommends. Firm fuyus can also be sliced and roasted to be served as a sweet/savory side dish, as in this [...]

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