Sunday, December 5, 2010

Persimmon Pie with Cashew Creme

Persimmons are a suspicious novelty that at best have a mediocre reputation. I feel the persimmon has a second chance at redemption. In fact it was once considered the "food of the Gods" by the Greeks, and later confirmed by Japanese Botanists. North American settlers were scared off by the persimmon after experiencing the bitter astringence pull their taste buds inside out. While Native Americans knew to leave the fruit on the tree until the first frost, and enjoy the sweet orange flesh there after. However, there is a variety of persimmons that even the impatient ripener can enjoy, the Fuyu, which is eaten by many when still very firm, although I prefer to wait until there is slight give to the flesh. The persimmon easily gets lost in fanciful combinations, and is best only enhanced with delicate flavors and spices. In this recipe I used a sparring amount of cinnamon, nutmeg, orange zest, and vanilla, and a simple cashew creme', adding a richness without overpowering. The crust is a basic nut crust that could be accomplished with any nut or seed variety.

Basic Nut Crust:
-2 1/2 cups almonds, walnuts, or brazil nuts
-1 cup dried shredded coconut
-6-8 majool dates pitted
-optional: vanilla bean, cacao/carob powder, and lemon zest
-1 teaspoon water(if mixture is too dry)

Add all ingredients to food processor and pulse until a crumbly sticky texture is reached. Place mixture in 8 inch pie or tart pan and press along bottom and sides with spatula or fingers. Place in fridge to set up while the filling is prepared.

Persimmon filling:
-4 large ripe fuyu or Hachiya persimmons
-6 majool dates
-1 teaspoon chia seed(not necessary but helps to set up)
-1 tablespoon coconut oil
-1/4 cup raw cashews(preferably soaked)
-cinnamon, nutmeg, orange zest, and vanilla to taste

Place persimmons, dates, chia, coconut oil, and cashews into high speed blender or food processor and blend until velvety cream is reached. Add in spices, vanilla, and sea salt. Set mixture aside.

Cashew Creme:
This cashew creme is worth making all on its own and is great to have on hand to drizzle over fruit, combined with cacao for a chocolate mousse, or made green with spirulina and vitamineral greens.

-1 cup cashews(soaked preferably over night)
-1/4 cup water
-1 Tablespoon raw honey or maple syrup
-squeeze of lemon juice plus zest
-pinch of sea salt

Place ingredients into high speed blender and let it whirl until homogenized cream is reached. Set aside. Remove crust from fridge and pour in persimmon filling, the cashew creme can be dolloped in quarter sized amounts and then swirled throughout, or decorated in any creative fashion.