I’ve said it before, I have a love/hate relationship with persimmons. My grandmother had a tree and my brother used to enjoy throwing the overripe fruit at me. The smell was disgusting. Since then, I’ve never been able to stomach persimmons, although my brother still eats them with gusto!
But since cachi, as they’re called in Italian, are such a popular autumn fruit in Southern Tuscany, I’ve decided to give them another try. I still can’t eat them on their own, but I adore them in this roasted fruit recipe. Served with a silky smooth creme caramel, you really can’t go wrong.
You need to use a hard persimmon for this recipe and not the squishy variety my brother used to throw at me. If you can’t find persimmons, use peaches, plums, apples or whatever is in season.
for the creme caramel:
1 egg yolk
250ml full cream milk
1 tablespoon caster sugar
splash of vanilla essence
for the roasted persimmons:
1 vanilla or hard persimmon, cut into wedges
splash of brandy or other sweet liquor
1 tablespoon sugar
Preheat the oven to 150°C.
To prepare the caramel, heat 2 tablespoons of caster sugar in a small saucepan with 1/2 cup of water. Cook over medium-high, swirling occasionally, until caramel begins to turn amber, 6 to 8 minutes. Working quickly, divide caramel between 4 ramekins, swirling to coat bottoms evenly, set aside.
Heat the milk, sugar and vanilla in a small saucepan until almost boiling. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely. Whisk the egg and egg yolk in a bowl and slowly add the cooled milk. Pour into ramekins. We’re cooking these in a bain marie, so you’ll need to put them in a tray and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. It’s easier if you pour the water into the tray after you’ve positioned it in the oven. Otherwise water sloshes everywhere!
Bake for 40 minutes or until set, but still wobbly. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before popping them in the fridge overnight.
Twenty minutes before you’re ready to serve the dish, prepare your roasted persimmons. Place them in a roasting tin with the brandy and sugar and roast at 200°C until soft and golden (about 20 minutes). Serve warm with the creme caramel.
Done, dusted and gorgeous. An autumn/winter dessert that’s easy enough to prepare during the week!