Monday, December 20, 2010

Persimmon Crème Brulee

Here it is!  Burwell General Store’s first recipe swap from the book “All Day Singin’ and Dinner on the Ground” (what that's all about here). Fellow food blogger Lindsay Strannigan of and I each took the original recipe for Persimmon Pudding from this little gem of a recipe book, reinterpreted it and swapped inventions.  Lindsay came up with a Persimmon Panna Cotta with Caramelized Hazelnuts (you must visit this deliciousness here) and my version, Persimmon Crème Brulee, is below.
I had a blast recipe testing and coming up with this recipe.   Like Lindsay, I had never really cooked with persimmon before, so this was a fun endeavor inspired by the original recipe and the fact that on the west coast, persimmons are still in season.  If you’d like to join in on the next swap after the new year, please leave a comment below.  The more, the merrier! I won't over sell it, but this was F U N and got me out of a bit of a cooking rut.

Persimmon Crème Brulee
Burwell General Store

Making crème brulee may seem a little intimidating at first, but the techniques are actually very simple. Heat cream and ingredients, temper the yolks with a little hot cream before mixing in the rest, pour mixture into ramekins, create a water bath, and bake. I like the idea of having individual desserts made for each of my guests.  I find it more intimate to serve a single dish crafted just for one person than serving a slice of pie from a larger dish.  In order to keep this dessert accessible, (asking you to use a chef's torch is the upper limit of "accessible", but fun, mind you) I took some liberties simplifying traditional crème brulee recipes, so if you're a hardcore French technique type, quel dommage!

Serves four.

four large egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla extract
1/3 cup persimmon pulp from a mushy-ripe persimmon, drained and pushed through fine sieve or strainer
blackberries and lemon for garnish

four four-ounce porcelain ramekins
one 9x9x2 baking pan
two-quart saucepan
small and medium mixing bowls
wire whisk
chef's torch

1. Place ramekins into the baking pan and set aside. 
2. Taking care to strain as much liquid as you can from the persimmon, set a scant 1/3 cup worth into a fine mesh strainer and let drain for ten minutes.  Push the remaining pulp through the strainer into a separate bowl and set aside.  You should be left with about 1/4 cup of pulp.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks together until a pale yellow.
4. In 2 quart saucepan on stove, combine cream, vanilla, 3T of sugar and persimmon pulp and bring to a simmer. Let slowly simmer for a couple minutes and remove from heat.
5. Temper yolks with a few tablespoons of hot cream.  Very slowly add and whisk the remaining cream into the yolks.
6. Into each ramekin, pour mixture about one inch deep or until mixture is divided evenly.
7. Carefully pour water into the bottom of the baking pan to immerse the ramekins halfway, and place in oven.
8. Bake at 300F for 45-50 minutes or until centers jiggle slightly when shaken or touched (they will firm up when cool).
9. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.  Sprinkle each ramekin with 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar across the tops, and then brulee with a kitchen torch.  Garnish with blackberries tossed in lemon juice and serve at room temperature, or slightly warmed.

I opted to use vanilla extract rather than a traditional vanilla bean to keep the cost of this recipe down. Also, the ramekin shown is approximately a two-ounce dish. It was pretty so I used it in addition to my white ramekins.


  1. Alexandra LaMendolaDecember 20, 2010 at 6:37 PM

    Wow, that looks delicious! I am not sure where to find persimmons in these parts.... but have just added a kitchen torch to my Amazon cart. I have some purple ramekins ( a gift from Linda) that have been sitting in the cabinet since my last attempt at Paula Deen's Lemon Drop Creme Brulee....which was yummy, by the way.

  2. Mike and I have been looking at torches. Do we need a better reason to go buy one now? I think not.

  3. Looks fantastic. Persimmons are quite common here in Hong Kong. Will have to give this a try.

  4. Looks so delicious! I am really glad we did this - it got me out of a cooking rut as well. 3 cheers for the recipe swap!


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