Recipe: Persimmon Tart

Recipe: Persimmon Tart

Faith Durand
Dec 8, 2008

Before the weekend we promised a recipe for this very, very bright orange tart, made from an unusual fruit for baking: persimmons!

When I was in France a few weeks ago I was struck by all the persimmons on display at the market. They were piled up at nearly every fruit-seller's stand, bright orange and tempting. They are called "kaki" in French; I actually had a very good kaki gelato while in Nice.

I was also inspired by some leftover tart dough and three very ripe persimmons to make this tart - maybe one of the easiest I've ever made.

You probably know that there are a couple different kinds of persimmons. One sort, the Fuyu, can be eaten at almost any stage of ripeness. They are sweet and delicious. The Hachiya, on the other hand, needs to be ripened to a mushy stage before they are ready to eat. Before they get this ripe they are unpleasantly astringent. (See more about persimmon varieties here.)

These persimmons (and most of the persimmons I saw in France) were of the Hachiya variety. I let them get very, very soft -- almost jelly-like, and sliced (well, scooped) them into the unbaked tart dough. All you need is a tiny bit of sugar, spices, and butter, and ta-da -- a sweet, rather creamy tart. No need to even peel the fruit.

Have you ever baked something with persimmons?

Persimmon Tart

Makes one 10-inch tart

1 recipe Basic Pie Crust or another basic pie or tart dough
3 very ripe Hachiya persimmons
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
Pinch cinnamon
Pinch salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Heat the oven to 425°F. Lightly butter a 10-inch round tart pan. Roll out the pie dough and press into the pan. Refrigerate until chilled - about half an hour. When chilled, remove from the fridge and brush lightly with beaten egg.

Slice persimmons into even slices or chunks; they will be very jelly-like, so you may just need to pull them apart with your hands and spread them in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with the sugar and spices. Dot the top with the chunks of butter.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until the fruit is slightly firm and the pastry is golden. Serve with vanilla ice cream or crème fraîche.

More persimmons:
Farmers' Market Report: Persimmons - Los Angeles
Persimmon Magic: Help Name This Recipe!
Harvest Time: The Dried Persimmon Lady

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