I can’t believe that I am finally making my first post on my new blog, it may not seem like a big deal, but here I am… heart beating just a little deeper and faster. Twinges of nervousness and excitement for what could come of it, and also just the feeling of vulnerability for putting myself out there.
But you know, I could not think of a better first post than this.
Over the holidays I had a hankering for an apple crumble, a childhood favorite, and decided to make it for our family thanksgiving gathering.
It was tart, sweet, delicious, and hit all the points. Yet, when I first tasted this persimmon crisp I couldn’t help but think “My god, this is so much tastier!”.
Anyways, we ended up reconnecting with our friends Joel & Family from Naturalist For You (a non-profit organization teaching about nature and sustainability), Amazing people. They have this giant Fuyu Persimmon Tree in their yard and it was brimming with ripe and ready to use persimmons. Not only that but they had bags of wild foraged black walnuts (different than the english variety they sell in the store). Joel & his family gave us a bag and told us to pick as many persimmons as we would like! So many ideas came rushing to my mind, initially I thought of the recipe from Chestnut School of Herbs – Spiced Hawthorn Pear Persimmon Brandy . Then I thought of persimmon Jelly/preserves, but then it clicked! Persimmon Crisp… Yes, this is what I would make & share with them.
It was a labor of love creating this.
I spent about an hour carefully getting the walnuts out of their shells.. Although the first one didn’t go so well, I smashed it to smithereens! Hahaha, I kept thinking of my husband saying “You have to hit it really hard”.. I’m like okay, here we go – *SMASH* *SMASH* *SMASH* with the hammer I went… I open up the towel that I had wrapped around the first doomed walnut only to see what looked like a walnut paste. Too hard Stephanie, too hard. I finally found the finesse it took to take the walnut out practically whole, just a delicate but firm strike to the horizontal line along the shell. — Oh, I should also mention that I saved the hull of the walnut to make a tincture – it contains juglone, a component which is said to rid the body of parasites. Black walnut is also a natural laxative and contains vitamin C.. (among many other benefits). You can purchase it from Mountain Rose Herbs, Here.
Once I had all of my walnuts shelled, it was time to get to getting with the persimmons.
I had about 15 persimmons to create a 3 Quart baking dish full of crisp. The chopping and peeling of them took about another hour, maybe more with Aria crawling around. The beautiful thing about these Persimmons is that they barely have any seeds so you can really utilize the entire fruit.
Once the persimmons are all chopped and peeled they should look like this. I love doing a rustic imperfect chop, so really it doesn’t matter how you chop them, just make sure that the chunks aren’t too large otherwise they will be too firm in the bake. *phew* Finally time for the best part – the creation and baking of the crumble. I wasn’t sure what gluten free flours I should use at first, but I ended up going with brown rice flour and almond meal. I like the texture of brown rice flour a lot because I feel like it is the most similar to flour (light and soft), and the flavor of almond meal is delightful. A good combination in my eyes! Once I had it all mixed together with the oats, sugar, and spices, it started to smell like the holiday season all throughout my home.
Oven’s set to 350 and all I need to do is place it in the oven for 45-60 minutes and then….
The masterpiece is complete.
You know, I’m still in disbelief that I created this recipe, I’ve always loved cooking and baking but never thought that I could create recipes (especially for baking). I am proud, happy, excited, and feeling hopeful for my future creations.. But I know that there will be just as many ‘mistakes’ as there are successes.
With that being said it is with a tender heart that I open myself to you and share this creation of mine. I sincerely hope you enjoy it and find it to be one of your holiday favorites as it is now ours.
& Here is the FULL recipe – Enjoy!
Wild Persimmon Crisp
For the filling:
15 persimmons, peeled & chopped
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup organic raw cane sugar
2 Tbsp brown rice flour
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
For the topping:
1 cup gluten-free oats
1/2 cup chopped black walnuts (or any walnut)
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground clove
1/8 tsp nutmeg
10 Tbsp Grass-fed Organic Butter, chilled and cubed
***I use organic whenever possible to support out earth and pesticide free agriculture***
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Peel persimmons and cut off top leaves, proceed to cut the persimmon into small rustic chunks. Place chopped persimmons into a large mixing bowl and add lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, and flour.
Mix thoroughly and and add to a buttered 3-quart baking dish.
In another large mixing bowl add brown rice flour, almond meal, all the spices, and oats. Mix thoroughly. Add the chilled and cubed butter to the bowl and mix in with your hands, just until large clumps form. Once mixed, fold chopped walnuts into the mixture.
Add the mixture evenly to the top of the persimmons in the baking dish.
Place in oven for 45-60 minutes, or until the top is crispy and the fruit juices are bubbling. Persimmons should be soft when pierced with a toothpick.
Allow the crisp to cool and serve warm.