I'm dreaming about a real fall- the kind where leaves turn shades of orange and red, and fall off trees-the kind of fall where I need to wear a sweater to protect me from the cool breeze and light wind. We are now at the end of October and I'm worried that here in Israel, we will have completely missed the fall, or that we won't have a winter- just a fall.
This time of year I usually start to change my cooking routine to fit the changing season- I start cooking warmer, cozier dishes, comfort food dishes with the rich seasonal produce of these supposedly cool months. One of the seasonal fruits, persimmon, has started making its appearance in the markets.
I love persimmons, and I thought it would be a great fruit to use for a dessert to celebrate Halloween. I have a great recipe for the classic tarte tatin that I tweaked a bit and used persimmons instead of the typical apple filling. The first time I made this tarte I stood patiently by the oven waiting to see how the beautifully orange fruit would do baked. I was worried the tarte wouldn’t hold, or that it would be too sweet. I had no idea how it was going to turn out.
The answer, my friends, you will find below. It came out absolutely delicious, rich, sweet, and most definitely, different, yet similar to the beloved classic tarte tatin. This will definitely be a regular for Friday night dinners, assuming that the fall is just around the corner.
Ingredients for one 9-inch (22 cm.) ovenproof skillet
For the dough:
1½ cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
1¼ sticks (6 oz./200 grams) butter, very cold, cubed
¼ cup ice water
For the filling:
1 stick (4 oz./115 grams) butter
½ cup sugar
8 persimmons, quartered and thinly sliced
1. Make the dough: in the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, sugar and salt and pulse twice. Add the butter and pulse until pea-size crumbs form, 10 to 12 pulses. Add the ice water and pulse until the mixture just comes together, 10 to 12 pulses.
2. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, 1-2 hours.
3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a round about 1/4 inch (.5 cm) thick. Trim the dough into a 10-inch round and place on the prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate until ready to use.
4. Preheat an oven to 425°F (200°C). Prepare the filling: heat a 9-inch (22 cm.) ovenproof skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Once the butter has melted and is bubbling slightly evenly sprinkle on the sugar. Remove skillet from heat.
5. Place one even layer of persimmons in a fan like manner, overlapping one another, until the entire skillet is covered. Repeat until all the persimmons fit into the skillet.
6. Return skillet to medium heat and cook for about 15 minutes, until the sugar is bubbling and has caramelized to a light brown color.
7. Place the prepared dough on top of the persimmons and trim the edges, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Tuck the overhanging pastry into the sides of the pan. Cut 4 steam vents in the top of the dough. Bake until the top of the crust is golden, about 30-40 minutes.
8. Remove the skillet from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Place a plate or cake stand over the pan and quickly invert the pan and plate together. Lift off the pan, letting the syrup drip over the tarte tatin. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Serve with vanilla ice cream or creme fraiche.