We are converted! After wondering what on earth persimmons were and how to eat them we have been enjoying them for the past few weeks and love them!
There are a number of fruit and vegetables I walk past in the supermarket having no idea what they are, how they taste or how to prepare them and persimmons are definitely one of those. I know I am not alone, so now we have been enjoying them in a number of ways, I thought I would share what I know with you!
The persimmons I used today are fresh and ripe from right here in NZ, we were lucky enough to be delivered a huge box of First Fresh Persimmons grown in sunny Gisborne. They are a lovely bright orange coloured fruit with a subtle sweet flavour. When they are ripe you can eat them just like an apple, skin and all. There are often no pips to speak of so you can just eat the whole thing, but not the stalk part, I just eat around it or cut it out. You can use them fresh in fruit salads, smoothies or in baking like cakes and crumbles. They are lovely stewed with honey and cinnamon to enhance the flavours, as I have done here.
The variety we enjoy in New Zealand are high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and potassium so lots of benefits! You can pick a ripe persimmon by the lovely dark orange colour of their skin. Some people LOVE them soft and squishy almost like a tomato and eat them just like that, others prefer them ripe but firm. Since the flavour is so subtle you can add them to savoury dishes too for a little sweet bite. There are other more astringent varieties that are grown around New Zealand too. They are available for just a short season from April to July so if you see them in store grab a few to try.
So onto my recipe for a comforting crumble. Our family love a winter crumble, and persimmons lend themselves beautifully to this sort of dessert. We have enhanced the flavour with honey, cinnamon and vanilla and added a simple crumble to the top. You can stew the fruit first, but if your variety is nicely ripe simply add the fruit straight to the bowl and coat with the flavours below.
Making a crumble is so simple, we prefer to have ours without oats, but you could definitely add them here if you prefer the extra crunch. The key to a good crumble is not taking the mixture to a fine crumb otherwise it can tend to turn cakey, and also you want the fruit below to bubble up around the crumble to ensure the fruit is cooked and the syrup is combining with the fruit for maximum flavour! I add cornflour to my fruit mixture to ensure the juices are nice and thick. You want to slice your persimmons very thinly.
Making crumble is a great fingertip workout – likely one of my least favourite baking processes is rubbing butter through flour, you can use a food processor but only on pulse so that there are lumps left.
So onto the recipe! Super simple and perfect with ice cream or a lovely thick custard on a cold winter’s night.
- 4 Large Ripe Persimmons (at least 750g of fruit)
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
- 2 Tablespoons Honey
- 1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon Cornflour (optional)
- 1 Cup Plain White Flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 115 grams Cold Butter
- ½ Cup Brown Sugar (can use any sugar)
- Preheat oven to 190C, Bake
- Clean your persimmons and remove the hard stalk from the centre of the fruit.
- Thinly slice them and lay the persimmons in a large ovenproof dish or casserole dish (at least 22 x 22cm)
- In a small dish combine the honey, cinnamon, vanilla and heat for 10-15 seconds in the microwave to combine the ingredients.
- Stir to combine and add the cornflour if using and mix well.
- Pour this over the persimmons and mix to completely coat the fruit.
- In a medium bowl, add the flour and baking soda and combine.
- Dice the cold butter and add to the flour, using your fingertips begin to rub the butter into the flour to create a soft crumb, this can take a while!
- Ensure there are still some lumps, a fine crumb is not ideal for a crumble.
- Add the brown sugar and gently combine again with your fingers to blend the sugar into the flour and butter mix. It will resemble crumbs with some lumps!
- Pour this over the prepared fruit and evenly spread.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes until the fruit begins to bubble around the crumble and the crumble is a golden brown colour.
- Remove from the oven and serve warm with your choice of custard, ice cream or both!
- Will keep in the fridge for at least 2 days.
So there you have it. This crumble can be used on a variety of fruit but I definitely recommend you grab some persimmons to try if you have never done so before. Often in the summer we try a new fruit each supermarket shop just to give the kids some new experiences, and to be honest me too.
What do you do with persimmons if you have them often? Let me know in the comments below.
A huge thank you to First Fresh NZ for allowing me to create this recipe and a chance to try a fruit I have always wondered about!
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Disclosure: Partnering with awesome companies from time to time helps maintain the upkeep of my personal blog. This recipe for Persimmon Crumble was developed while partnering with First Fresh NZ. The content and opinions are always my own.