We've been drowning in Fuyu persimmons lately. And I haven't shared even the teensiest little bit of our numerous persimmon experiments with you. But don't worry, that will soon be remedied, I promise!
We weren't quite sure what to do with Fuyu persimmons. They are the type that are non-astringent (they don't pucker your mouth) and never get soft. We were told by native Californians that we should eat them like apples. So our next thought was, If they are like apples, why not make sauce out of them, especially since we have SOOOO many of them! So we did. And we were surprised to find that it tasted like squash! VERY VERY SWEET squash!
Now... what should we do with our SWEET squash-tasting persimmon sauce? Make pies of course! So I started experimenting with different "pumpkin" persimmon pie recipes. I took a persimmon tangerine (It was Barry's idea to add the tangerines and it was perfect! I didn't have quite enough filling and they bulked it up plus added a nice citrus burst in every bite!) pie to potluck and everyone loved it. The next week I took a persimmon cranberry crisp and that was also well received.
It was at about this point when one of the church members asked me to make him a pie to take to a Senior fundraising event. I told him I would, but I first let him know that it was going to be an experiment - because I don't know how to bake any other way. ;) I had been fiddling with an idea that I wanted to try out. A few months ago a friend of mine made a pumpkin chai pecan bundt cake. It was WONDERFUL, but more pie/pudding like than cake like. So I decided I wanted to try to adapt it into a pie recipe. But instead of using pumpkin, I decided to use persimmons!
So that's how it all started. I made a trial run with mini pies in our muffin tin when company came over on friday night. They were a success so I figured it would be good enough to send with the church member.
It wasn't until later that I found out that the reason the church member had requested a pie was because there was going to be a pie contest. And lo and behold, my grand experiment got 2nd place!
Here are the general directions and recipe suggestions. I know it's not like a normal recipe. But then, I don't claim to be a normal cook so.... :)
Cook down a bunch of peeled and chopped fuyu persimmons. Then place them through a strainer to make a sauce. Add a couple glugs of lemon juice and throw in some pumpkin pie spices.
Cook about 1-2 cups of fresh or frozen cranberries on the stove with either a couple tablespoons of brown sugar and a few teaspoons of chai spice OR a few tablespoons of already sweetened Chai Spiced Tea mix. Mix the cranberries into 4-5 cups of your persimmon sauce. Add 3-4 tablespoons cornstarch and 3-4 tablespoons tapioca powder. You can also add up to a cup of flour and a little baking powder. I can't remember if I did this or not. I think I didn't on the test run and did on the real thing.... So they both probably work! :) Add a dash of salt and mix together. Pour into already prepared pie crust of your choice.
Chop 1 cup of pecans and place on stove in the same pot that your cranberries were in. Add some more chai spice mix and add a few tablespoons of margarine. Once the pecans are all thoroughly covered and warm, take off the stove and cover pie with them. Place cranberries around the edge for a pretty touch!