Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Persimmon Compote

It's been a very sweet holiday season in my home, with a cross-country cookie exchange, experimental fudge recipes (mixed results), and our first attempts at caramel squares and turtles (both wildly successful). I make no apologies for the astonishing amount of sugar we consumed: we enjoyed every bite. And I didn't feel at all guilty ignoring the fruit bowl overflowing with gorgeous persimmons, generously shared by a friend ... until yesterday. Then I felt guilty. Very guilty.

After polishing off the last of the leftover Christmas cake, I was ready to give the persimmons the attention they so richly deserve. I chopped them up and simmered them with honey, spices, and a burst of fresh lemon. After the mixture cooled a bit, I spooned some into a cup of Greek yogurt and topped it with dates. I'm happy to report it tastes like Christmas, without the collateral nutritional damage.

I'll devour this batch with nonfat Greek yogurt for protein-rich, guilt-free breakfasts, but it would be equally fabulous stirred into piping-hot oatmeal. If you're not ready to turn your back on sweets yet, pour some over a scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt. I imagine a shot of candied ginger would be spectacular, but I left it out in deference to my dear but ginger-loathing husband.

If you're looking for more creative ways to enjoy persimmon, try Winter Jewel Salad, with persimmon, pomegranates, and dates in a cinnamon-orange dressing that tastes like fall, and Persimmon and Fennel Salad, a crunchy and colorful salad with greens.

Persimmon Compote

This makes a generous cup of soft, sweetly spiced fruit perfect for stirring into yogurt or hot cereal or pouring over waffles or ice cream. It keeps up to a week in the fridge and freezes well.

4 persimmons, peeled and chopped
4 tablespoons water, divided
2 tablespoons honey
A tiny splash of cider vinegar (optional)
1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon, cloves, and ginger
Pinch of cardamom
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Squeeze of lemon

In a small saucepan, combine chopped persimmons, 2 tablespoons water, honey, and cider vinegar, if using. Bring to a boil over medium heat (about 4 to 5 minutes). Reduce heat to medium-low, add spices, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and remaining two tablespoons of water. Add to fruit in pan and stir until thickened. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon. Remove from heat and cool before storing in refrigerator for up to a week.

1 comment:

Rachel (Diary of a Recovering Chocoholic) said...

I'm making this now! My house smells great!


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