Caramelized Fuyu Persimmons
Fuyu persimmons are a nice substitute for Granny Smith apples in side dishes. I love caramelizing persimmons and pairing them with roasted duck breast. I don't think a holiday dinner menu can get much more fancy or decadent. We've just had our first crop of Fuyu persimmons this season in our garden, and I decided to take full advantage.
In case you were wondering, there are 2 main varieties of persimmons, Fuyu and Hachiya. The difference is the texture. For this recipe make sure you use Fuyu persimmons, which have are hard, almost carrot-like texture.
Yields: 8 servings8 Fuyu persimmons, peeled and cut into thin wedges
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 sprigs lemon thyme
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup sugar, to taste
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces Kalamata olives
1/2 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons golden raisins
Bring the apple cider to a near boil. Soak the raisins in the hot liquid and let them sit for about 20 minutes. Drain and reserve both the liquid and raisins separately.
Brush a hot non-stick griddle pan with olive oil. Using a brush, lightly coat the persimmon wedges as well. Place 2 sprigs of thyme on the grill to release a nice aroma while grilling the fruits. Place the wedges on the griddle pan. Cook until you get grill marks (about 2-3 minutes on each side) over medium heat. As soon as the persimmons are grilled, season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper and transfer to a platter.
In another pan, melt the sugar without any water over high heat. It's important to carefully watch the sugar; as soon as the edges of the pan start caramelizing, immediately lower the heat to medium-low. Gently jiggle the pan in circles. Do not use a spoon! Lower the heat to the lowest setting when there are only a few remaining non-caramelized pieces. Don't let the sugar get dark brown or you'll get a burnt taste. When all the sugar is an amber color, remove from the heat, pause for about a minute (be careful of splattering when the butter is added), then slowly add the butter and salt. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon. Bring back to the stove and, using the lowest setting, add 3-4 tablespoons of reserved apple cider little by little. Increase the heat to medium-low. Add the persimmons and cook, tossing occasionally, for about 3-5 minutes or until the persimmons are coated in caramel and tender. Add the olives and raisins. Toss well.
Garnish with more sprigs of thyme. Accompany with roasted duck breast.
If you don't mind strong flavors, allow the persimmons to cool for about 15 minutes then sprinkle them with about 6 ounces of crumbled gorgonzola cheese.
If you don't have raisins, you can add any other dried fruits such as prunes or dates. They're just as delicious and pair perfectly with meat.
For a healthier (and vegan) version, substitute vegetable butter (a vegetable oil-based margarine) for the butter.
Published By: on December 13, 2009.