One of the joys of living in the Bay Area is our access to fresh fruit year round and local persimmons are abounding in farmers markets this time of year. Their vibrant orange color is hard to miss.
We’re using the oblong Hachiya variety here. As David Leibovitz says “They’re incredibly tannic and astringent when not ripe and need to be squishy-soft and feel like a full water-balloon before using”. If you can only find hard unripe fruit, place them in a sealed container with an apple for a few days on the windowsill until they are ripe.
You can use them in cake or breads but they are also quite well suited to for curds. The fruit puree is a vibrant orange but settles down to a lovely pastel that goes well as a filler between cake layers, spread or toast or just eaten straight out of the container while giggling to yourself about how good it is.
4 ripe persimmons
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 cup granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
6 yolks plus 1 whole egg
1 stick cold butter, cut up into cubes
1) Trim stem from fruit and puree in food processor with lemon juice until pulp is as smooth as possible.
2) In the top potion of a double boiler, whisk together eggs, sugar, salt and zest. Over a low simmer, whisk mixture until smooth and vibrant yellow. If you don’t have a double boiler, a metal bowl over a barely simmering pot of water will do just fine.
3) Mix egg mixture with puree in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Over medium-low heat cook until mixture has thickened. Test by running your finger along the back of a wooden spoon to see if it flows. If it does, keep cooking until it has set.
4) Once it has thickened, slowly stir in butter cubes allowing each to incorporate before adding the next. Once the butter has been added continue to cook for 4 or 5 more minutes.
5) Pour into a heat-proof container and refrigerate, preferably overnight, before using. This recipe yields about 1 quart of curd.
This curd makes a great Holiday gift too. Simply portion it out into 4-ounce containers and keep cold before gifting.
This article also appears on http://www.examiner.com/fashion-trends-in-san-francisco/the-pleasure-of-persimmon-curd