Persimmons! It’s what’s for dessert.
Okay, I will admit that I have become obsessed with persimmons. Once I tried fresh persimmons last fall I fell in love with their flavor, their texture and even their pretty orange/coral color. Their taste remind me of mangos and a little of peaches and papayas. But I guess they are simply “persimmons”- with their own great flavor. My first recipe was to make some tangy persimmon jam, using a recipe from the Hot & Hot Fish Club Cookbook by Chef Chris Hastings. Chef Hastings makes a quick jam from wild persimmons, to accompany a foie gras first course.
Now not having access to any fresh foie gras nor wild persimmons, I nevertheless purchased some cultivated fruit at the market and set about making preserved persimmon jam. It came out quite nicely! We’ve enjoyed it on biscuits and in an appetizer I made with Camembert cheese and toasted pecans. I’ll share that recipe when the timing is right.
Having persimmons on my mind, I thought they would be delicious used in a dessert as well. Maybe a mousse? Or a perhaps a cake… thus I decided to work with them incorporating my recipe for a white chocolate jelly roll cake. This fit the bill for our Christmas dinner dessert. In the future I think I may add a drizzle of crème anglaise just to add interest to the plate as admittedly my photography does not do justice to this recipe.
One other thing to point out is that this keeps beautifully if wrapped tightly in plastic and refrigerated. So it’s a great do-ahead dessert that impresses! And, surprisingly just today, I saw a large basket of persimmons at my local market. Persimmons seem like an undervalued fruit, to me, so allow me to spread the “good persimmon word” before some Food Network ne’er-do-well proclaims them the next big foodie thing…and they cost $5 a piece.
Persimmon White Chocolate Roll
For the White Chocolate Roll Cake
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbl unsalted butter
- 2 oz white chocolate
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbl water
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
Lay out a clean kitchen towel that is larger than the jelly roll pan. It also helps if the towel has no texture so don’t use a terry cloth towel. Dust with a generous amount of powdered sugar.
In mixer bowl beat eggs on high speed until thick and lemon colored (5 minutes). Meanwhile melt the butter and white chocolate in small heavy bottomed pan over low heat (or use a double boiler). Stir to combine and then aside to cool.
Gradually add the sugar to the eggs, mixing well. Mix water and vanilla extract to cooled the butter/white chocolate mixture and stir. Add to egg/sugar mixture with mixer running. Add flour, baking powder and salt to the egg mixture and beat just until batter is smooth.
Pour into prepared pan. Bake 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Loosen edges with a knife and while cake is hot, turn out onto the powder sugared towel. Roll up the cake – with the kitchen towel.
Set the cake rolled into the towel on a rack to cool, about 1 hour. After cake has completely cooled unroll the cake and towel and spread with the persimmon filling. Roll back up, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, cut into slices (1 inch seems right). Sprinkle with a little powdered sugar, a dollop of persimmon puree and whipped cream.
Makes 8-10 servings. Leftover roll should be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated.
For the Persimmon Filling
- 5-7 Persimmons (to make about 2 1/2 cups)
- 1/3 cup orange liqueur (good quality rum will also work)
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
Peel the persimmons, chop and grind to make a puree in a food processor. Measure out so 2 cups of puree is in the processor and mix ¼ cup sugar to the puree. In a small saucepan dissolve the gelatin in the liqueur. Heat slowly over low heat. With processor running pour the gelatin mixture into the puree. Pour the persimmon puree into a mixing bowl and place in the refrigerator. Meanwhile whip the cream with the powdered sugar until set. Fold 1 cup of the whipped cream into the persimmon mixture.
Reserve any remaining persimmon puree and whipped cream to serve with the Persimmon White Chocolate Roll.