What do you do with a free case of Persimon© Persimmons?
Well, aside from eating them straight out of the case, I made a persimmon chutney to serve with some sous vide pork and then I played around a bit with the rest. Out of everything else I made, this tarte tartin was my very favourite.
I have been making an eggplant tarte tartin in cooking classes this year and it's a huge hit every time. The eggplant cooks down in the gooey caramel until it is reminiscent of stewed figs and the hit of freshly cracked black pepper in the caramel is almost as unexpected as the fact that you are actually eating eggplant for dessert. If it's fabulous with eggplant, it's kind of a no brainer to assume it's going to be even better with persimmons.
I threw in a bit of cardamom and some pecans for good measure and I can now say, in my best FogHorn LegHorn voice, all puffed up chest and with a full air of confidence, that this is going to be my go to holiday dessert this year.
Persimmons are a seedless fruit from Spain that are almost like a cross between a peach and a mango and are in season until January so they are perfect to keep on hand all throughout the month of December. If you have a couple persimmons and your handy, dandy ready made puff pastry in the freezer, you will have a show stopping dessert in no time.
thanks again to the fine people of Persimon© for the fruit!
Persimmon Black Pepper Tarte Tartin
2-3 persimmons, sliced into wedges ( I used Persimon© persimmons)
1/4 cup + 2 tbls room temperature butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 or 4 cardamom pods (sub in about 1/4 tsp ground if you don't have pods)
freshly ground black pepper
handful of whole pecans
1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted and rolled out to 1/4" thick
preheat the oven to 425F
Spread your butter over the bottom of a 10" oven proof skillet. Remove the seeds from the cardamom pods and crush them in a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder and then stir the cardamom into the sugar. Distribute the sugar evenly over the butter. Finally, grind a generous amount of black pepper over the whole thing.
Arrange your persimmon slices on top of the butter/sugar in a tightly packed concentric circle, fitting in pecans where you can along the way.
Let this cook, undisturbed, over medium heat until the caramel is bubbling and starting to turn golden brown - it should take somewhere between 15 and 20 minutes. Keep an eye on it so that you don't let it burn.
now, take our your puff pastry and cut a circle to fit snugly into your skillet - if there is excess, just tuck it in.
Pop this into the oven for 25 minutes. Let it rest out of the oven for about 5 minutes before you invert it out onto a serving plate. If some of the fruit stays in the skillet, just scrape it out back onto the top of the tart (if the caramel has started to harden a bit, just warm it up again over low heat and that will soften up the caramel so that it can all be scraped back onto the tart.
Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream or creme fraiche - basically , any of the creams.
*you can make this up to 3 hrs ahead, leaving it in the skillet, uncovered, until you are ready to serve it. At that time, reheat the skillet over med low heat for a few minutes to soften the caramel back up before inverting the tarte.