The trick to cooking with a Hachiya persimmon is to let it get super soft and start to get black spots. The squishy texture should be similar to a seriously over-ripe tomato -- that's when they're perfect to cook with! The black spots are not harmful, don't worry.
We used our Hachiya persimmons to make Persimmon Lemon Bars, or PersEMON bars (ha!)
Persimmon Lemon Bars (aka PersEMON bars)
makes 1 pan PersEMON bars
For the crust
2 sticks butter (1/2 pound)
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
For the filling
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
2-3 overripe Hachiya persimmons (see photos above for reference)
1-2 lemons, juiced (approximately 2/3 cup juice)
2/3 cup flour
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. Using a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light. Add the flour and salt and mix into the butter and sugar mixture until it's just incorporated. You should have a crumbly, dough-like texture. Dump that into the greased pan and flatten into the pan until the whole bottom is covered. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the dough mixture is very lightly browned.
Squeeze the ripe persimmons over a measuring cup to extract the juice and pulp from the skins. Leave out most of the skin if possible. Whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, Hachiya pulp, lemon juice and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 20-25 minutes until the filling is set, but still kind of wiggles when you shake the pan. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and dig in!
Photo Credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink
Persimmon with Broiled Goat Cheese:
This dish is almost like a caprese salad with persimmons. We love this festive version -- these would make a quick and delicious appetizer for the holidays when people need to eat, but you need them out of the kitchen.
This is inspired by a dish that I love to serve as an appetizer in the fall. Often I’ll just serve slices of firm Fuyu persimmon with plain goat cheese—that alone is tasty enough to surprise and intrigue guests. But I decided to fancify it a little by broiling the goat cheese, which makes it a warm, melty, tangy, wonderful thing. It’s really important to select firm Fuyu persimmons for this dish. Soft Hachiya persimmons are unripe when firm, and once ripe, they won’t support a slather of cheese.
4 ounces soft, fresh goat cheese
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Fuyu persimmons, quartered, seeded, and thinly sliced
Fresh thyme, for garnishes
Preheat the broiler.
Place the goat cheese in a ramekin and drizzle the olive oil over the cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil about 6 inches from the heat source for 8 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is a deep golden brown. Allow to cool for a couple minutes.
Spread about a teaspoon of baked goat cheese on each slice of persimmon. Garnish with thyme and black pepper and serve immediately.
***Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Food written and photographed by Kimberley Hasselbrink (Ten Speed Press, © 2014)
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