We’ve been getting apples in our Local Boxes for weeks now, and I just saw that next week persimmons will join them. Persimmons and apples are a natural duet; the spicy sweetness of the persimmon is complemented by the apple’s tart flavor, and the flesh of both fruits is similar enough that they cook at the same speed.
Traditionally, compotes are served as a dessert, either chilled or warmed and garnished with whipped cream. However, you’re selling the dish short if you limit it to just desserts! Here’s are some ideas for how to use this recipe in your meal plans:
- Breakfast: as a topping for oatmeal or other hot cereal
- Breakfast: in a parfait with yogurt and granola
- Breakfast: with cottage cheese or Greek yogurt
- Breakfast: over pancakes or waffles or in crepes
- Snack: instead of applesauce
- Snack: as a dip for cinnamon sugar pita chips
- Lunch: with cream cheese in a sandwich
- Lunch: with roast turkey and Dijon mustard in a sandwich
- Lunch: with goat cheese in a quesadilla or Panini
- Dinner: as an appetizer, baked in Phylo dough with a round of brie
- Dinner: heated over top of baked pork chops, chicken, or turkey
- Dinner: over top of a baked sweet potato
- Dessert: over ice cream or whipped cream
- Dessert: in mini pies (the flavor is too strong for big pies)
- Dessert: as filling in a pastry braid or sweet rolls
- Dessert: as a filling for a spice cake with cream cheese icing
Preparing this compote is quick and easy. The most difficult part of the process is identifying which kind of persimmon you’re working with, and then peeling and coring fruit. There are two kinds of persimmons: Fuyu and Hachiya. Hachiya persimmons are heart-shaped, with pointy bottoms. Fuyus have flatter bottoms and look more like tomatoes. This recipe calls for the firm-fleshed Fuyus. However, you could substitute the pulp of very ripe Hachiyas if that’s what you have on hand. Here are detailed instructions for ripening and cooking with Hachiya persimmons. Below are instructions for coring and peeling apples and Fuyu persimmons.
Here’s the full recipe. It doubles or triples well if you’re looking to feed a crowd, and the finished compote will last about a week in a tupperware in the fridge.
Apple Persimmon Compote (yields 2 cups)
4 Fuyu persimmons
1/4 c. butter or vegan margarine
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger (about a 1 inch section)
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons orange juice, apple juice, or rum
Peel, core, and dice persimmons and apples. Melt butter over medium heat in a large skillet and saute fruit for about 5 minutes, until it starts to soften and give off a little liquid. Meanwhile, grate ginger and measure out cinnamon, vanilla, allspice, ground pepper, brown sugar, and rum. Add all ingredients to the skillet, cover and continue to cook over medium heat for about half an hour, until the fruit reaches desired tenderness. Stir occasionally and add a little water if necessary to keep compote from drying out. (Shouldn’t be a problem if your skillet’s covered, but burned brown sugar and crusty fruit is no fun to clean up later.) Serve creatively and enjoy!