Persimmon Parfait with Coconut Crème
by Christie Mae Qualey
While the diversity of sweet fruits may be lacking this time of year, we are not completely void of toothsome delights. Some of the gems include: bursting pomegranates, an array of sweet citrus, fresh dates, rustic apples varieties, succulent pears, and my personal favorite persimmons!
Persimmons are a misunderstood fruit that’s often cast aside. Native Americans subsisted on this sweet fruit to get through the winter. European settlers swore off persimmons after eating the unripe fruit. It wasn’t until they witnessed the natives eating the fruit in deep winter that they learned how to savor this sweet delicacy, for when other fruit has gone to rot, the persimmon is just refining its sugars for consumption.
The most common variety, Fuyu, is squat, like a mini pumpkin, and can be eaten when still a bit firm (you can eat it hard like an apple, but it certainly won’t taste as sweet and delectable as its slightly soft or very soft version). Astringent varieties like the Hachiya are not as common due to their sensitive nature. They must be eaten when completely soft. If you do decide to chomp into the tantalizing flesh too early, you will be punished with a puckering dry mouth as your taste buds turn inside out! Don’t be discouraged – a ripe persimmon is as sweet and intoxicatingly delicious as an unripe persimmon is awful.
|4-6||organic fuyu persimmons (at least semi-soft),
peeled with stems removed
|6 large||organic medjool dates, pitted and soaked in water for 1 hour|
|1 tsp||pure cinnamon powder|
|1 tsp||pure vanilla extract|
Place persimmons and soaked dates in high-speed blender, food processor, or regular blender. Blend on high until thick creamy texture is reached. Place in fridge to chill.
|2 young||coconuts, meat of (alternatively you can use 1 cup raw cashews|
|3||organic medjool dates, soaked in water for 1 hour|
- Place coconut, dates, vanilla, and ¼ cup of water soaked dates, into high speed blender. Blend until thin velvety texture is reached. If you are using cashews, you will need to add enough water to cover the cashews.
- Assemble the parfaits by alternate layering of persimmon and coconut. Using fancy stem glassware adds a wonderful appeal. Additions of shredded coconut and crushed nut can also be added.
- To sweeten recipe further, add more dates.
Debra Daniels-Zeller is author of The Northwest Vegetarian Cookbook: 200 Recipes That Celebrate the Flavors of Oregon and Washington (Timber Press, 2010). She is a regular contributor to Vegetarian Journal magazine and writes a delightful food blog at http://foodconnections.blogspot.com. She can be reached at (425) 776-4689.