Skip the traditional apple altogether and let the Japanese version star in your Thanksgiving Day pie.
This time of year it’s no surprise my favorite thing to eat are persimmons. I love crisp, crunchy fuyus and eat them like apples, as soon as I buy them at the farmers market. Some are sweet, some are tangy, and I use them for everything from salads to jam to an addition in my latest stuffing recipe(added to dark rye bread soaked in stout.)
Thankful for the vast assortment of persimmons available at the multitude of California farmers markets, this year the fruit is my special choice for Thanksgiving Day. Sweet and crunchy, the flavor takes the place of apples in a pie, with the addition of musky honey dates. Cooked with moscavado sugar, vanilla and dark rum, this pie is everything I love about persimmons: rich, sweet, and earthy. I just hope everyone is as thankful as I for all my persimmons recipes.
Apple and Persimmon Pie
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup ice water
For the Filling
6 medium size fuyu persimmons or 2 Giant fuyu and 3 small fuyu
1/2 cup honey dates
1/4 cup dark rum
1 1/2 cup moscavado sugar
1 stick butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla paste
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp clove
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup milk
1/8 cup large crystal brown sugar(for dusting top of pie)
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 persimmons into 1/2-inch slices. Pit the dates and cut them into quaters.
4. Put the sugar, butter, cream, and spices into a heavy-bottomed, medium-size pot. Heat over medium heat until the liquid is thick and syrupy, about ten minutes. Add the rum and fruit and stir to combine. Turn off heat and 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. Place to dough between two sheets of parchment or wax paper 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. Place the lined pan in the refrigerator and remove the second piece.
5. Place between two sheets of parchment or wax paper, and roll the second piece of dough out to a 13-inch round. Place back in the refrigerator, removing the pie pan. Remove the top sheet of paper from the pie pan, making sure dough is in all corners of pan. Trim the edges with kitchen scissors, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fill the pie pan with fruit mixture.
6. Take second peice of dough out and remove top sheet of paper. Using any shape cutter, cut out sections of dough, either one in the center, or several around the dough. Carefully remove cut out pieces, and place to the side. Carefully put the dough on top of the pie and remove the top layer of paper. Trim the edges to match the bottom layer, and using a fork, make impressions all along the pie rim.
7. If desired, place the cut out pieces of dough on the top of the pie. Using a pastry brush, cover the whole pie with milk and then sprinkle the large crystal sugar on top.
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 if making ahead of time, or slice and enjoy after your turkey dinner.