Seasonal Ingredient of the Week: Persimmon
Persimmon, sharon fruit, khaki, fuyu, date-plum - it's a fruit of many identities, but the only difference being the country it's grown in or the language you're speaking. They're grown predominantly in Asia nowadays, but can also be grown locally - with British grown persimmons dating back to 1629, albeit its 'exotic' reputation.
Depending on the type, they're either sweet straight from the tree, or have to be left to ripen until the inner flesh is soft and jelly-like. Either way, the flavour is sweet and unlike no other, the perfect winter fruit to to add a little colour to your plate (and to act as a base for all your winter spice needs). They're also high in antioxidants, particularly beta carotene, and have double the amount of dietary fibre as an apple - perfect for a healthy digestive tract.
They work perfectly in both sweet and savoury, adding a new note to any previous classic, as well as making a great snack on their own. Here's our recipe favourites:
- Winter hibernation = working on your baking game. Persimmon are the perfect replacement where you'd usually find the usual apples and pears. Spiced persimmon pie is a must, and they also work well in crumbles and tarts. For the pie filling, simply slice thinly, layer up and cover in cinnamon, nutmeg + cloves.
- They're also a great brunch addition. Stew and add to the top of your porridge, pancakes or waffles. Try with a base vanilla flavour, then top with toasted hazelnuts.
- Looking for something quick and easy? Simply cut the persimmons in half, lengthways, drizzle with honey and broil (that's baking and grilling at the same time) for 6-8 minutes. Serve with coconut yoghurt.
- On the savoury side, they're great in salads. Simply slice (and grill if you want a warmer option) then add roast beets, massaged kale and a tangy apple cider dressing
- Making a roast? Add large slices of persimmon, garlic, red onion + sweet potato to the baking tray surrounding your joint of meat (lamb accompanies the sweetness well), then roast and serve with the usual trimmings.