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« this day dedicated to the one I love ~ | Main | ::woof:: »

23 November 2007

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Ah, I always learn something here. For example, when I worked at the local Whole Foods, they told me Buddha's hands were inedible, strictly ornamental. Very interesting to hear otherwise.

Very few people in northeastern Massachusetts seem to know much about produce, even people whose business is produce. It can be very frustrating, and a little sad.

Wow, thanks for this, we're doing our little project in a couple of weeks and our team has tarts and galettes. I'd like to use seasonal produce so I think maybe a quince galette, fresh fruit tart with maybe pomegranites and persimmons and something delicious and chocolatey/nutty.

Would quince be good baked in a galette or should they be poached first?

Sara,

Goodness! Well i'm glad that now you know better. You can eat BH raw too-- it's lovely! The white pith is sweet too...

Jennywenny,

Yes, you must cook quince before laying it out or putting it in cake-- look at the comments section on the Quince post I linked to.

A question for you: If acidic liquid can not be cooked, how would it be reduced? Is there another way?

Raspil!

oops, sorry-- good cook question of course. What I meant to say was that acidic liquid + dairy cannot be cooked. Of course to reduce citrus juice, vinegar-- what have you, yes, reduce it with medium flame in a non-reactive saucepan until desired density/ amount.

I agree completely. When I've lived abroad, everything has very short seasons, but each product is celebrated fully (strawberries in June but never July, apples only in the fall, etc.)
I'm one of the people who loves raw kumquats, but I also love the ones that are candied whole in syrup, the way they squirt when you bite into them. But my favorite form of whole citrus eating are candied bitter orange peel rinds that are done in big long strings- hours of labor but totally worth it.
Thanks for the lovely ideas!

Oh I adore raw kumquats; I love how you can eat the whole fruit (except for the seeds)! My mom also makes wonderful candied kumquats...I wish my parents' shrub was producing them right now. Another thing my mom is fond of doing in the winter months is to make Vietnamese (it could be a Southeast Asian item in general) dessert called che....a cross between a pudding and a stew depending on what goes in it, but usually involving coconut milk. I'm reminded of this because I just had a variation with sweet potato and kabocha squash.

Very few people in northeastern Massachusetts seem to know much about produce, even people whose business is produce.

oh, Sara, I understand all too well...

Shuna, persimmons...why if you should not cook Fuyus can you use them as you would hachiya once they (over)ripen withouty losing the flavor? What winter squash desserts have you enjoyed?

These fruits made me think of Foie Gras...

Mercedes!

Wow, what an honor it is to think I've given You some ideas! ::you're welcome::

Susan,

Anything that is a cross between a pudding and a stew is a friend of mine, especially when it involves coconut. Thanks for the conjuring...

Lindsey,

You have asked a hard question.

Eating a ripe Hachiya out of hand is less appealing to most people than eating what feels more familiar like a Fuyu out of hand. (Most people dislike foods based on texture: taste or actual flavor is an afterthought. (Or it is when people are so freaked out by texture-- they can't get past their fear and into what the elusive flavor might be.)

So when we use Hachiya persimmons for baking we are taking advantage of the above mentioned positive traits which Are more pin-pointable.

Make sense?

Squash desserts I've loved are pumpkin pie and crustless custards-- warm and frozen, and squash tortes.

Roberto N.,

Foie Gras? Yes, please. Si, por favor.

If these fruits make you think of foie I have a feeling your plates and my plates would get along real well...

I love quince. My first act moving into my house four years ago was to plant a quince tree. It really needs a bit more sun, so doesn't thrive all that well, but every year I get a few quince from it.

I am charmed by their fragrance and the fact that they don't make it easy to know or appreciate them. A bit old fashioned and severe on the outside, but also powerfully fragrant and in-your-face when you inhale their scent. Maybe I relate to that! At any rate, I poached the last two from the tree two weeks ago. With that I made an apple/quince galette, with fruit from my yard and my neighbors yard - you can't get more local than that!

I'm not sure if I'm saying the same thing, as I didn't fully understand, but I've thought and talked a lot about persimmons of late, so I thought I'd add my two cents.
Only the most devout fruit lover would eat mush, and Hachiyas are only palatable once they are mush. (For example, Jane Grigson's recipe calls for cream to be poured over Hachiya mush in a bowl!) So instead, we put Hachiya puree into baked goods (or ice cream!) where there moisture and high pectin content can create delicious textures, and while their character is largely lost, they impart a subtext of flavor. With Fuyus, we have the benefit of enjoying persimmon flavor with a pleasing range of textures. However, if we let them get completely soft, we can use them just like their brethren. Does that make any sense?
One question...I've heard that lime skins can't be candied as they get very tough and lose their color. Not true?

Ah, yes. Now I get you. Reminds me of the good old bartending days -- Rose's Lime with Bailey's make a Cement Mixer... gross.

however, I love Orange Creamsicles. Must get to the drawing board for something new.

oh aaron, that sounds so smug! i am hardly a devout fruit lover. i am barely a fruit lover yet...but i like what you say about them losing their character...it's true, a ripe persimmon's a very unique experience. shuna-not entirely making sense yet...if you kill the flavor of a fuyu by cooking it does that imply it's ok to kill the flavor of a hachiya, or that flavor of persimmonness is not the desirable trait in a persimmony baked good. that it's sort of like the apple, an entity best clothed in warm spices?

No smugness here...you won't catch me wielding a spoon towards an orange blob emerging from a slick of heavy cream...at least not this season :)

Wow,I wasn't too excited about winter fruit before, but now...
Thanks for your thorough post!

oh shuna, thank you as always. I was thinking of making something with roasted persimmons (as you know, I ate my first bite in the Bay Area a couple of weeks ago), and you stopped me. (And then Danny did too.)

you are always such a source of information. and inspiration.

Raspil.

mmm creamsicles. yes, please.

Lindsey,

The flavor of a raw Fuyu is distinct, in part BECAUSE of it's accessible texture. Since Fuyu persimmons are something you can slice, dice, mince, or just eat like an apple, why would you take something like this and then cook it, rendering it devoid of flavor?

A Hachiya, on the other hand, if yo can locate the flavor is MUCH MORE ELUSIVE. So, why not use it to take advantage of its gelling properties? Or you could eat it straight from the freezer-- like easy sorbet.

Aimee,

Glad to be of service. Thank you for noticing that the post is thorough-- and thank you for saying thank you!!

Shauna,

Hello Sweet Potato! Thank you too for telling me I'm a source of information. Coming from you this is a lovely feat!

As for the inspiration, I bow in your presence. Your heart is my heart.

Shuna:

You mentioned in the posts above that you've loved pumpkin pie and crustless custards--have you tried pumpkin (or squash) bread pudding? I've been itching to try this, but haven't had an opportunity yet. I'd love to read your take on it. It seems like it could be so comforting and sensual.
Thanks--you inspire me regularly.

Jennifer

Hello Jennifer,

I am sorry to say I am not the biggest fan of bread pudding. Every once and a while I like it but it never wows me-- I think I'm jaded in that department.

I have often felt when it shows up on dessert menus that it's lazy of the pastry department (or it shows that the restaurant doesn't have one...)

If I were to make the one you speak of I would use amazing bread, like Brioche or Challah or Pannetone. bread pudding is fairly easy to whip up so I imagine you'll have one on the table before squash season is over...

Shuna--I can see your point, but it's one of those dishes I grew up on (my dad used to make it), so I have a thing for it...and I can understand why you don't. My favorite way to make it recently is with a caramel sauce to drizzle over the top. The recipe that I've been using creates this amazingly light but custardy dish, so the caramel drizzle is a nice addition. The other thing that struck me about it when I replied earlier is the nutmeg in my recipe could be replaced with other equally interesting spices, and that seemed like something you might have played around with.
Ah, well--thanks for the insight. Your bread suggestions are good ones that I'll keep in mind as I play with this.

Jennifer

Thanks for the info about quinces, I popped to the farmers market yesterday and interestingly, one of the farmers I spoke to said they were out of season down here in socal.

I did get to try the most amazing custard apple, beautiful persimmons and there were delectable guava. I'm thinking of riffing on the lemon cream I made the other day and trying a guava cream tart instead.

Oh and I have to say I do like a bit of bread pudding. Some say it is better with the crappiest white bread you can get your hands on...

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