Persimmons are an under-rated fruit – a lot of people don’t know what to do with them. While they are great eaten raw, just like an apple (they kind of taste like a crunchy melon!), they are also fantastic roasted or baked, for sweet and savoury purposes (yummy with roast pork!)
Here is a simple dessert recipe using persimmons. When baked like this they go soft, sticky and caramelised and are divine with a dollop of natural yoghurt. The persimmons we get in New Zealand are the Chinese variety – Fuyu – and are in season in New Zealand in New Zealand between May and July, however they also last a long time on the kitchen bench – often up to 20 days.
- fuyu persimmons 4, firm & ripe
- cinnamon stick 1
- ginger 4 slices
- star anise 2 whole
- vanilla extract 1 teaspoon
- liquid honey 4 tablespoons
- boiling water 1/3 cup
- lemon zest of 1
- limes juice of 2-3
- natural yoghurt, creme fraiche, or coconut yoghurt
- lemon or lime 4-6 wedges
Preheat oven to 200 degC/390 Fahrenheit.
- Cut persimmons in half horizontally (you can leave the skins on). Place cut-side-up in a baking dish. Combine cinnamon, ginger, star anise (if using), vanilla, honey, lemon zest and juice and boiling water in a bowl, then pour over persimmons.
- Cover with tinfoil and bake for about 45 minutes, or until persimmons are soft. Check on the persimmons halfway through cooking time and if they are looking dry you can top up with a little more liquid if needed.
- Switch oven to grill. Remove tinfoil and spoon honey syrup over the top of the persimmons, then return to the oven to grill for 5-10 minutes or until the tops are caramelised and browned.
- Divide persimmons between serving plates and serve with a dollop of yoghurt, crème fraiche or scoop of ice-cream on the side. Drizzle over syrup from the baking dish, and serve with a wedge of lemon or lime to squeeze over just before eating.