Friday, November 13, 2009

WOULD I FUYU? Persimmon Rum Raisin Bread Pudding

Here's how it started:
Me (to myself)
Wow, it's already time for the "Lets Lunch Bunch" posting and it's supposed to be
a Fall Dessert. (pause) Man, I love Persimmons. (pause) I could use a drink. (BOING!)

Fuyu Persimmon Rum Raisin Bread Pudding

Yeah, maybe it was a little more involved than that, but honestly this time of year, I'm so in love with these squatty little orange/yellow babies. Fuyu Persimmons taste like a Pumpkin, a Pear, and a crisp Apple got together know, what ever Fall Fruit would do.

Now, maybe you are reading this and thinking:
YOU (to yourself)
Is she out of her mind? I tasted a Persimmon once and it turned my mouth inside out!!

Well, guess what - you probably ate a different kind, another species of Persimmon. There are many varieties, but mainly TWO to be aware of when eating or cooking with them.

FUYU - are glossy orange/yellow and kinda squat like a tiny pumpkin. They can be eaten right off the tree like an apple, and they're sweet and crisp like a pear. These Persimmons are fantastic sliced in a salad, or sliced and dried in a low heat oven for a few hours to make Persimmon Chips, or cubed and cooked into a jam, or caramelized and baked into this delicious cozy Bread Pudding.

HACHIYA - are deep orange, shaped like an acorn and are a bit heavier and packed with tannin (the stuff that will suck the moisture out of your mouth if taken in too big a dose). When these gorgeous orbs are RIPE; meaning soft like a water balloon and almost ready to pop - Oh Momma, they are sweet and juicy and lusciously rich in vitamins, fiber and potential. Some people just freeze Hachiya Persimmons - then thaw for a short time - slice them open and scoop/eat with a spoon like the easiest cup of sorbet you'll ever have. If you happen to find a good buy at the Farmer's Market on Hachiya Persimmons, but they're not ripe yet; put them in a bag with an apple or banana and they'll move right into pudding-like ripeness in no time.

You will not find a more beautiful fruit than a FUYU - Starburst in the middle, almost liquid orange, no need to peel and naturally sweet. These guys are grown mostly in China, although Brazil and Japan also produce them. The domestic crop is almost completely produced in California (during the months of October through December). Since Persimmons are an Autumn treat they pair really well with dried fruits like raisins and figs. They also taste great with nuts and cheeses. Almost anywhere you could use an apple, you could use a Fuyu Persimmon; tarts, pies, pancakes, salads, chutneys or just sliced and baked with a sprinkling of brown sugar and cinnamon. And, of course, if the hot toddy ingredient: Spiced Rum is nearby for some reason, throw that into the mix.

Keep your Persimmons at room temp. whenever possible. Putting them in the refrigerator actually makes them go bad faster. The season is not very long for these lovelies, so I hope you'll have the chance to try this recipe. If not, try it with nice firm apples and substitute Calvados for the Rum.

Wanna hear a confession?
Time: A few days ago:

ME (to myself)
Well, I have the pictures so I could just eat the Persimmon Bread Pudding now, right?

Cut to: a few hours later
ME (to myself)
Wow, did I eat both of those ?!?

The #LetsLunch bunch started on twitter a few months ago when Cheryl at Tiger In the Kitchen and Elise at CowgirlChef decided to do a lunch theme together and then post about it. Right away, a bunch of us joined in the virtual lunch events each month. Check out the great Fall Desserts presented to you at these fine locations:

Cosmic Cowgirl
Geo Fooding
Bon Vivant
Free Range Cookie


4 cups diced Fuyu Persimmon
1/4 cup melted butter
6 slices of dry or toasted bread in large cubes
1/2 cup raisins - soaking in rum to cover for at least 1 hour
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
2 eggs
dash of cinnamon

Mix all dairy with dash of cinnamon and eggs in a large bowl. Drop in the cubes of bread to soak while prepping persimmons.

Saute Persimmons in butter on low/med. heat til softened.
Drain raisins and add them to pan. Mix thoroughly.
In a large bowl, gently whip eggs and add the Persimmon mixture all together. Fold over several times and pour into 6 ramekins or 1 large pan (approx. 8x8)
Bake in a Bain Marie for 30-40 minutes at 375F.

Cool and slice or serve from dish.

This can be held for 1 day in refrigerator. Re-heat in oven 300F for a few minutes, then put under broiler for browning the top, but watch carefully.


Phoo-D said...

This is a beautiful dessert! My mother-in-law just sent a whole box of beautiful fuyus. I can't wait to give this a try. It was so much fun to meet you last weekend. You are very talented!

GeoKaren said...

I will have to set aside my original disdain for persimmon and give this a try!

ATigerInTheKitchen said...

I love persimmons! What a pretty presentation, too. Thanks for sharing...

Danielle said...

Loved this post...did I detect a hint of your playwright talent right there?? :) I love persimmons too, fresh from the farmers' market and this recipe is perfect for extending the season just a little bit longer...

Anonymous said...

this look delish and you have such a great sense of humor ~ love it!

Khali//Bandit and the Scene Stealers said...

Wow from the comments it looks like everyone is in love with you and your humor and your talent. Please include me with all of them too. Great Post! I have a question - why does having a banana or an apple help speed the process? I LOVE persimmons. thank you.