A ginger flavoured persimmon custard topped with vanilla is set in a white chocolate and chilli pastry. The flavours of chilli, ginger, vanilla and persimmon marry beautifully. These persimmon tarts can be served warm or at room temperature.
Recently my mysterious fruity godmother (or is it secret admirer?) sent me a tray of beautiful Spanish Persimon. Well what can you do with such a gift other than create some fiery and joyous persimmon tarts?
Persimmon is a delicious fruit and it goes back a long way in European history. A European species, known as the divine fruit in ancient Greece, was much loved by the Gods and was the source of the lotus eating legend. Many parts of the world now cultivate persimmons. They’re available here in the UK between October and January.
Just so you know, these fruit also go by the name of Sharon Fruit. This came ab out because of an Israeli variety which was bred on the Sharon Plain.
I was a little stumped at to what to do with them at first, as they’re not something I’m particularly familiar with. I’ve tried the odd one over the years, but they’ve always been either under ripe and horribly astringent or have gone off before becoming edible.
Persimmons it seems, come in two varieties. Hachiya has a high tannin content that makes it incredibly astringent unless fully ripe and very soft; these were the ones I have tried so unsuccessfully in the past. I understand when in the right condition, they are in fact the most delicious. Fuyu is more versatile. It has less tannins and is edible when firm as well as when soft and pulpy. It was the Fuyu variety that I received.
Pleasantly free of pips and stones, the flavour is a a bit like a cross between a mango and a melon I found. CT, on the other hand, favoured the mango comparison for both colour and taste. He thought it was nice to be able to grow a temperate substitute for such a great tropical fruit.
Once I finally got to grips with these persimmons, I made all sorts of plans on how to use them. However, it turned out that they were excellent just as they were and like the lotus eaters of old, once started we couldn’t stop. We ate them whole with the skin on whilst firm or peeled and sliced them on top of our muesli. I will no longer be hesitant about buying these delightful fruit in the future.
Persimmon Tarts with Chilli & Ginger
Luckily, I managed to save a few to play with. I left them to go soft so I could easily scoop out the pulp and use it in baking. I also had some hot, hot, hot chilli white chocolate made with the fierce naga chilli; this even left me, chilli fiend that I am, defeated. It had been lurking around in my cupboards waiting for just the right opportunity. This I felt was it: carpe chilliem. I would create some persimmon tarts by making chilli white chocolate pastry and filling it with a gingery persimmon custard.
I was recently sent a pack of Taylor & Colledge vanilla products, which I will be reviewing shortly. One of the items was an innovative vanilla bean grinder, which I have fallen in love with. Freshly ground vanilla beans would, I mused, finish my tarts off very nicely. And they did.
I’m super excited about the new white chocolate pastry I’ve invented, which we both consider a great success. I meant to use my usual half wholemeal, half white mix, but I was daydreaming and most unusually for me, I ended up using all white flour before I realised what I was doing.
The finished persimmon tarts are equally delicious warm or cold. CT described them, in between licking his lips, as souped up custard tarts. The pastry is crisp with not a soggy bottom in sight. The chilli is more than just a background note, but not too fierce to eat either. It’s more a warmth that keeps growing as you consume the tart. I never really saw the point of adding ginger to chilli until I tried it, but now it’s a firm favourite and the two flavours marry well in this tart.
The mango / persimmon flavour comes through nicely. It’s all rounded off by the fragrant vanillary top which adds a certain tropical sophistication to this artisan confection made in Cornwall, where the climate is anything but tropical.
Other Tin and Thyme Fruity Tarts You Might Like
- Apricot frangipane tart
- Blackberry chocolate galette
- Double apple tarts with white chocolate
- Easy jam tarts
- Fig, white chocolate and mascarpone tarts
- Gooseberry galette
- Raspberry tarts
- Rustic rhubarb galette
I’ve also got a recipe for mini persimmon chocolate cakes which were rather good too.
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make these persimmon tarts, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. And do please rate the recipe. Have you any top tips?Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
Chilli & Ginger Persimmon Tarts. PIN IT.
Chilli & Ginger Persimmon Tarts – The Recipe
Chilli Ginger Persimmon Tarts
- 150 g plain flour
- 75 g unsalted butter
- 25 g chilli flavoured white chocolate
- 2 very ripe persimmons
- 2 large eggs (I used duck eggs)
- 3 tbsp double cream
- 50 g soft brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 pinch rock salt
- Pour the flour into a bowl. Grate in the chocolate. Add the butter and cut into small pieces with a knife. Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add enough water to just form a ball of dough – about 3 tbsp. Stir and form into a ball with your hands.
- Roll out on a floured surface to about ⅛ cm. Cut rounds to fill 8 x 10cm tart tins. Place in the fridge to cool whilst getting on with the filling.
- Scoop out the flesh from the persimmon’s which should already be soft and pulpy. Blend it to ensure it’s completely smooth (I used a stick blender).
- Whisk the eggs in a bowl with a balloon whisk. Add the cream and sugar and whisk until smooth. Add the salt, ginger, lemon juice and persimmon pulp and whisk again until incorporated.
- Spoon the filling into the 8 cases, filling them to the top. Grate a little vanilla over the top of each one.
- Bake at 180℃ (350℉, Gas 4) for about 30 minutes until the pastry is golden and the filling has set.
There is a new blogging event which I’m hoping to be a regular participant in, The Spice Trail from Vanesther of Bangers & Mash. As the name suggests, Vanesther chooses a different spice each month and this month it’s chilli – hooray! These chilli and ginger persimmon tarts are just the thing.
I’m also sending one of these persimmon tarts to Javelin Warrior for Made with Love Mondays where everything has to be made from scratch – sort of!