This 10 minute dessert is a great way to enjoy the fresh delicate flavour of persimmons on a smooth vanilla ricotta base.
Persimmon season has begun and this light and refreshing persimmon and vanilla ricotta dessert is a wonderful way to enjoy the delicate autumnal fruit after a meal or for breakfast (why not?).
Persimmons are a great fruit to see you through autumn and into winter as they have high immune boosting nutrients. This orange coloured fruit is not only rich in beta-carotene, but contains more fibre (in its skin) and antioxidants than apples, and high levels of vitamin B6, potassium and manganese.
Ripe persimmons have a most delicious honey-like flavour, wonderful scent, and a jelly textured pulp. When they become very soft, the pulp can be scooped out and eaten with a spoon.
This persimmon dessert is very quick and easy to prepare and requires just a handful of ingredients.
Fresh persimmons are puréed for their delicate flavour and combined with a little orange zest. Persimmons are so sweet that you do not need to add any sugar to the purée.
The base is a smooth and simple sweet vanilla flavoured ricotta that is lightly whipped. If you don’t have ricotta, you could use mascarpone, but this will be more dense.
So go ahead, pick up some persimmons and whip up this quick and delicious dessert!
Varieties of persimmons
Persimmons contain tannins which give a bitter flavour, however as they ripen they lose their astringency and become incredibly sweet.
The two types of persimmons, astringent and non-astringent, are categorized according to when they lose their bitter tannic quality, and on appearance. However when ripe, they have the same honey-like flavour and are equally sweet.
You can select either variety of persimmon for this recipe.
Astringent persimmons are commonly known as hachiya, and non-astringent as fuyu. Both have a yellowy orange skin with an orange and brown pulp.
- hachiya – these are acorn shaped and should not be eaten till they are ripe or over-ripe as they will make your mouth pucker up.
- fuyu – this variety is smaller and shaped more like a tomato with a tender skin. They can be eaten before they are completely ripe while still firm, or soft and even over-ripe.
How to ripen them
Leave persimmons at room temperature to ripen. If you need them to ripen quickly, place them near bananas, onions or potatoes and the ethylene gas produced will speed up the ripening process. As they ripen they become softer and turn a deeper orange colour.
Other ways to eat persimmons
Firmer persimmons are delicious chopped or sliced as a garnish for yogurt, ice-cream, porridge, and in salads. They can also be dried or baked into cookies, cakes or puddings.
Store unripe persimmons at room temperature till they ripen, and then in the fridge.
Ripe persimmons should be eaten within 1-2 days.
Persimmons or their pulp can be frozen for up to a month, any longer and they tend to lose much of their delicate flavour.
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Persimmon & Vanilla Ricotta Dessert
- 3 persimmons ripe
- 250 g ricotta (1 cup)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar (powdered/confectioner's sugar)
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 4 honey roasted pecans crushed (optional)
- Wash and dry the persimmons, then slice each one in half, scoop the pulp out into a bowl, and discard the skin. Blend the pulp till it is smooth, stir in the orange zest, then set aside.
- In a separate medium sized bowl, whip together the ricotta, vanilla and sugar till smooth.
- In a serving glass, add the ricotta cream to form a bottom layer, then cover with a layer of puréed persimmon. Do the same with the other 3 glasses. Chill for one hour before serving. Garnish with crushed roasted pecans before serving.
- You can select either the hachiya or fuyu variety of persimmon for this recipe.
- Select ripe persimmons, if they are soft, remove the stem and scoop out the pulp. If they are firm, slice in half and scoop out the pulp.
- If you don’t have ricotta, you could use mascarpone but this will be more dense.
- Chill for at least one hour before serving.
- Garnish before serving. Do not garnish before chilling as the nuts will become soft in the fridge.
- Best eaten on the same day, consume with 2 days.