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Spice up Apple Pie with Persimmons

Buttery, flaky pie dough enrobes crisp apples to create the perfect slice of pie. Sweet persimmons and rich coffee rum syrup give a twist to this fall classic.

Persimmons at the Hollywood Farmers Market

Fuyu Persimmons at the Hollywood Farmers Market




Nothing says fall like apple pie. This year, try a variation on the classic by adding persimmons. An orange-red, pumpkin-shaped fruit, persimmons are available from October through December. Fuyus are the hard variety, sweet and crunchy like an apple. They can be eaten raw or cooked into jams, purees and baked goods. The heart-shaped persimmons are called Hachiya and should be eaten when they are very soft to the touch. They fruit can also be pureed and makes wonderful cookies.


Persimmons have a sweet, earthy flavor that adds depth to this apple pie. Adding a rum and coffee syrup brings notes of spice, earthiness and tang, giving a more complex flavor overall.

Persimmon and apple pie

Persimmon and apple pie

Apple and Persimmon Pie
Pastry Dough
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup ice water

For the Filling
5 apples of your choice, Pink Ladies work well
5 medium size fuyu persimmons
1/4 cup spiced rum
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cup +2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp instant coffee powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp clove
1 tsp nutmeg
1 egg

1. Stir together flour, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the cubed butter, and using a pastry cutter or two forks, cut the butter into the dough, creating small pieces of butter mixed with the dries.

2. When the butter is fairly incorporated, add half of the ice water and mix together. Add more water until the dough just holds together. Form a ball with the dough, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

3. While the dough is chilling, cut the apples and persimmons into 1/2-inch cubes. Heat the rum with the 1/2 cup of water and dissolve the coffee powder and 1 cup sugar in it. Add the liquid and spices to the fruit. Set aside.

4. Pre-heat then oven to 425 F with a sheet tray in the oven. Remove dough from the refrigerator and cut the ball into two pieces, re-wrapping one piece and placing it back into the fridge. Lightly flour your workspace and roll the dough out to 13-inch round. Spray a pie pan with cooking spray and lay the dough into the pan, pressing down into the corners of the pan. Trim the overhang of the dough with a pair of kitchen shears, leaving a 1/2-inch rim. Place the lined  pan in the refrigerator and remove the second piece.

5. Re-flour your work surface and roll the second piece of dough out to a 13-inch round. Whisk the egg together, and, using a pastry brush, lightly coat the dough. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tbsp sugar. Using a round cutter or cup, cut out circles of the dough.

6. Remove the lined pie pan from the fridge and place the apple filling into the pan, pushing down to create an even, flat top surface. Carefully lift the dough circles with an offset spatula and layer them onto the top of the pie, like fish scales. Cover the entire pie.

7. Place the pie on the hot sheet tray and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 350 F and bake for an additional 40-50 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Cool pie to room temperature. Freeze to enjoy later, or slice and serve with vanilla ice cream on a chilly fall day.

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