Thursday, November 27, 2008

Persimmon & Cranberry Tart

This year's Thanksgiving celebration was made simple and I insisted on it. As our extended family members are not here and all friends had their own programs, Curry and I didn't have to rush anything. We even opted for duck instead of turkey or goose as it requires less stuffings and something new to experiment with and no guests to feed! No fancy table settings and dressing up, the kids simply enjoyed the freedom of endless cartoons and snacks grazing up to dinner time.

Persimmon is a fruit originated from China and I first tasted it when I was very young and they are in abundance around Chinese New Year time. I love its firmness and yet juicy and sometimes crunchy when eaten with the skin. I would relate its texture to firm peaches and the sweetness akin to mango with the juice content of a plum. These days, persimmon is produced in warmer climate spots in the West coast and my preferred type is the Fuyu, which is absolutely good when ripen thoroughly.

As I had no luck of persuading Curry to try Pumpkin pie, I opted to make this tart. Still with the festive spirit and colors, orange and red and rich with fattening calories! I had no idea on how it will turn out as the persimmons have been sitting on my countertop for a week already and still firm and haven't reach the extreme ripe texture that I wanted. Well, as I said, no guests this year and I put on the experimental tool and pursued something new.

For the tart case, I used the Pate Sucre/Sweet pastry recipe and with the addition of egg, the crust turned out more stable and cookie like which is very suitable for a custard content like this tart. Resting the dough for a certain amount of time really firms it up and it must be thawed a bit before rolling out to line the tart pan. After the lining of the pan, the dough is let to rest again in the fridge. It was then blind baked , lined with parchment paper and beans to prevent the pastry case puffing out of shape during the baking before the custard and fruits are put inside.

For the custard part, I used 5 eggs with almond flour, added some lemon juice and a few tablespoons of heavy cream. The persimmons were then cut and sliced horizontally and lined in a circular motion inside the part baked tart shell. Dried cranberries were scattered all over and lastly, the custard is spooned over the fruits. Baked for 25 minutes till the custard is set and let cool to room temperature. Fresh cranberries looks festive and although they are too tart to eat on their own, garnishing with them brightens up any desserts and popping one in your mouth can be fun too with the sweet tart! I find this tart better to eat after letting it rest at room temperature for at least 2 hours and the crust remains dense and cookie texture like throughout. The persimmon did softened but not to the mushy stage while the dried cranberries gives it a sweet and tart bite. Having a slice of this tart with vanilla ice cream is very enjoyable and for a more sophisticated dinner, try whipped cream and a strong pot of coffee.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks divine! You're getting really good at making tarts! When you come back to KK do bake some for us to savor!