I happily obliged, thinking I would get a couple of the sweet fruit. She presented me with a bag overflowing with persimmons - enough to last me the winter. She cautioned me to wash them well, since they were covered in ash.
Persimmons are orange-y fruits that resemble little tomatoes. The insides have the consistency of plums, but a very different taste. I like to describe them as a cross between a peach and a cinnamon stick. I usually eat them plain, but have been dying to try them mixed with another firm fruit in a pastry. I started the pairings in my head - peach, apple, pear. A trip to the supermarket revealed that peaches are no longer in season, so I loaded up my cart with apples and pears and took them home to play.
My first adventure was a pear and persimmon pie. I was a little nervous since I'd only made pie crust once before - and that time I brought it to a party where the hostess didn't serve it, so I don't even know if the recipe is any good! I made the crust, loaded it up with the filling, and threw it in the oven and crossed my fingers.
The results were AMAZING. I kept poking and prodding to make sure the fruit was getting cooked enough, and even sniggled out a little persimmon slice "to check it". Once I'd done that I had a hard time waiting for dessert. The pie was perfect! Wouldn't change a thing and oh so easy to make. The pears and persimmons worked really well in creating a sweet flavor that neither overpowered. It was just a sweet filling, and a very flaky crust. It might be the best thing to come out of the San Diego fires!
Pear and Persimmon PieCrust:
1 1/4 cup AP Flour
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces and frozen
2 Tbsp shortening
1) Combine flour and salt in food processor. Pulse 3-4 times.
2) Add butter and pulse 8-10 times.
3) Add shortening and pulse 5-7 times.
4) Add couple of tablespoons of water, just to moisten. Pulse 3 more times. Repeat this step.
5) Place dough in large ziplock bag and shape into disk 5 inches across. Seal bag and refrigerate half an hour.
6) Place sheet pan and 2 pie pans in freezer
7) Remove dough from fridge and while it's still in the bag, roll disk to 10-12 inches across.
8) Remove pans from freezer. Place dough (in bag) on sheet pan. Use a knife to cut both sides of the bag, and peel back the part that covers the dough.
9) Place one pie plate on top of the dough right side up. Holding pan in place slide other hand under sheet pan and flip the whole thing over. Then take away the sheet pan.
10) Place other pan, inverted, on top of dough and push gently down. Flip the whole thing back over again.
11) Form crust and use a fork to poke the bottom of the crust 6-8 times.
1/2 cup sugar
juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp AP flour
1) Preheat oven to 425.
2) Peel pears and persimmons and slice thinly. Add lemon juice.
3) Combine sugar, cinnamon, and flour and combine with fruit.
4) Pour filling into unbaked pie crust.
5) Cook for 20 minutes
6) Sprinkle topping over top and cook for 5 more minutes
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp butter, cut into small piece.
1) Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt in food processor. Pulse 3 times.
2) Add butter, pulse until crumby.