Persimmon Tart with Streusel + John Besh’s Cooking From the Heart {Giveaway}

Saturday, November 9, 2013
Persimmon Streusel Tart | LickMySpoon.com

Persimmon Streusel Tart

Persimmons…or as my husband adorably calls them “per-cinnamons.”

I have to admit, I was pretty unfamiliar with persimmons before moving to San Francisco. But apparently this city knows them well and loves them even more because they are everywhere. They are stacked so high in the stalls at the market, they are literally rolling into the street.

Persimmons | LickMySpoon.com

Persimmons galore

I’ve mostly seen two different types of persimmons. Hachiya persimmons have a darker, reddish orange skin, and have a round shape like an apple. These are the kind of persimmons that need to be fully ripened and soft before eating (or else they taste unpleasantly astringent).

Fuyu persimmons on the other hand, are a lighter orange color, and are shaped like squat tomatoes. They can be eaten both firm and soft. When they’re firm, the flesh is crunchy – great for shaving into salads or sandwiches – and when they’re soft, I like to eat them all by themselves.

I recently received a copy of chef John Besh’s new book, Cooking from the Heart a beautiful 308-page hardcover filled to the brim with glossy photos, memories and tales of cooking (and life) lessons, and step-by-step instructional photos. I first met chef Besh last year in New Orleans and still remember how gracious he was.

John Besh's Borgne (New Orleans) | LickMySpoon.com

Yeah…we did some damage (Borgne, New Orleans)

Chefs John Besh and Brian Landry (Borgne, New Orleans) | LickMySpoon.com

Chefs John Besh and Brian Landry (Borgne, New Orleans)

I was asked to make a recipe from Chapter 11: Fruits, Nuts & Cheese. This chapter takes us to the heart of Germany’s Black Forest, one of the places that shaped John’s culinary journey. The desserts in this chapter pay homage to Edel “Topless” Neary, a shy young Irish pastry chef who earned this unfortunate nickname at the hands of her fellow rowdy German commis. Here’s a fun excerpt from the book:

…One day, before our vacation to the South of France, Patrick sent us a piece from the New York Times on Bandol, its food, its wine, and its topless beaches! All faxes normally passed through the hands of Karl-Josef, and such a piece wouldn’t have gotten much reaction, but since Edel was to accompany us on our vacation, the thought of that precious, shy, and very proper baker thrown into the hedonistic and naked French sent him into fits of hysterical laughter. Chef immediately called the entire kitchen together for a pre-dinner service huddle and decreed that our Edel would now be nicknamed “Topless.”

Well lucky for us, Topless had a knack for refined yet approachable desserts. As John reminisces, “She used no precious ingredients, which made her desserts all the more precious indeed. Butter, cream, sugar, and eggs played a supporting role to the fruit that starred at every meal.”

The recipe for a gorgeous Plum Tart with Streusel caught my eye. Pflaumenkuchen is described as the apple pie of the Black Forest region – such a staple that some cooks make it every day when the plums are in season. Unfortunately, plum season here has passed, and since I’ve been bombarded with Hua’s beloved “per-cinnamons” lately, I decided to give this substitution a shot.

The delicate sweetness of the persimmons played wonderfully with the cinnamon streusel in this recipe. Here’s the play by play:

How to make a Persimmon Tart | LickMySpoon.com

Sweet tart dough with lemon zest

Make a basic sweet tart dough by cutting a cold stick of butter into flour, sugar, a bit of milk, an egg, a pinch of salt, and lemon zest – a lovely addition I haven’t seen in other pate sucre recipes.

Line a tart pan with a round of parchment paper, butter and dust with flour. Then roll out the dough and line the pan, trimming off excess dough.

How to make a Persimmon Tart | LickMySpoon.com

Prepping persimmons

Peel the persimmons, hull them, and cut into wedges (I like to cut each persimmon into 12 pieces).

How to make a Persimmon Tart | LickMySpoon.com

Give them a toss in some brown sugar love

Beat together an egg and brown sugar. Coat the persimmons in the mixture.

How to make a Persimmon Tart | LickMySpoon.com

Pointy ends up

Arrange the fruit in the tart shell with their pointed ends poking up. This makes for a beautiful presentation — when the tart bakes the points will caramelize and toast up attractively.

How to make a Persimmon Tart | LickMySpoon.com

Streusel, the secret to all things good

Mix together your streusel and sprinkle over the persimmons. Bake until the topping is golden.

Persimmon Streusel Tart | LickMySpoon.com

Pretty Persimmon Streusel Tart

Thanks to John – and dear Edel “Topless” Neary for that matter – for inspiring this pretty, autumnal tart.

Persimmon Streusel Tart | LickMySpoon.com

Persimmon Tart with Streusel, inspired by chef John Besh

Persimmon Tart with Streusel
Chef John Besh’s new cookbook, Cooking From the Heart, features a gorgeous Plum Tart with Streusel (Pflaumenkuchen) which he learned to make while training in Germany’s Black Forest region. He describes it as the region’s version of apple pie – such a staple that some cooks make it every day when the plums are in season. The recipe is wonderfully versatile, open to being adapted for whatever fruit is in season. Since the markets are overflowing with sweet persimmons now, that’s what I’ve gone with. I also found that I needed more butter to get my streusel to the right crumbly consistency.

Prep Time: 1 ½ hours (includes inactive chilling time)
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Yield: (1) 10-inch tart, about 8-10 servings

Ingredients:

½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup milk
1 egg

½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 egg
½ cup brown sugar
8-10 persimmons
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Preparation:

Make the tart dough

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cut the cold butter into the flour until the flour has the consistency of semolina. Add the sugar, zest, and salt and mix until evenly distributed. Beat together the milk and egg and add to the bowl. Mix by hand until a crumbly dough is formed. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour before using, or freeze for later use.

Assemble the tart

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line the tart pan with a round of parchment paper. Grease the lined pan with the 1 tablespoon of softened butter and dust with flour. Roll the tart dough on a well-floured surface until it is ¼-inch thick. Press the dough into the tart pan and trim excess dough. (Baked up scraps make an excellent snack!)
  2. Peel the persimmons, hull them, and cut into wedges (I like to cut each persimmon into 12 pieces).
  3. In a medium bowl, beat together the egg and brown sugar. Coat the persimmons in this mixture. Arrange the fruit in the tart shell with their pointed ends poking up. This makes for a beautiful presentation — when the tart bakes the points will caramelize and toast up attractively.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together the streusel by crumbling together the butter, flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt into pea-sized clumps. Sprinkle over the persimmons. Bake until the topping is golden, 40-50 minutes.

Print Recipe

Persimmon Streusel Tart | LickMySpoon.com

Persimmon Streusel Tart

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:
Enter to win a copy of chef John Besh’s Cooking From the Heart. Simply leave a comment on this post.

For additional entries:

  • “Like” Lick My Spoon on Facebook. Leave a comment on this post telling me you did so (if you’re already a fan, that counts too!)
  • Share the link to this post with your friends on Facebook. Leave a comment on this post telling me you did so.
  • Tweet It. Leave a comment on this post telling me you did so.

All entries must be received by Saturday, November 16th, 11:59 pm PST. Winner will be selected by a random number generator and notified via email.


***UPDATE: CONTEST IS CLOSED***
Congrats to Jenny, our Cooking From the Heart winner!

Disclosure: This giveaway is courtesy of chef John Besh.

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Posted by Stephanie at 1:09 pm

14 Responses to “Persimmon Tart with Streusel + John Besh’s Cooking From the Heart {Giveaway}”

  1. I can not cook well however I will attempt this Persimmon Tart with Streusel

  2. Jenny says:

    Love streusels! I didn’t know what a persimmon was until moving to California either. And I made the mistake of eating an unripe Hachiya as my first experience. Eek! I’ll have to give this a try!

  3. Lighter says:

    i remember persimmons from my youth on the Illinois prairies. All I can recall Mom making is jelly. It’s been a good fifty years since I looked at one in the stores. Steph’s photography sure makes this recipe tempting!

  4. Drew says:

    I too made the mistake of eating an unripe persimmon some years ago. My wife has been trying to convince me to eat them. She sent me this article and I’m going to give it another go.

  5. Sandy says:

    I love per-cinnamon, that is the best name ever! And they do taste cinnamony! And does that tart look ridiculously delicious….

  6. manda says:

    Love the giveaway!

  7. Donna says:

    A great give away!  Would love to own this book!

  8. I need to eat this now.
    Of course I like Lick My Spoon on FB!

  9. Kevin Furniss says:

    Another wonderful recipe and cookbook from Chef Besh. He does fantastic work for the community down here. And a great person to boot. We all love him.

  10. Sheri says:

    Tried my first persimmon last week. I’d love to try this recipe!!

  11. Jenn says:

    I’m grateful for this recipe. You can never go wrong with a streusel topping…

  12. Diane Beck says:

    I am going to look for persimmons at the market tomorrow! I used to see them in Tulsa, even had a persimmon tree in the backyard, but have not seen them in Flagstaff AZ.

    • Stephanie says:

      oooh a persimmon tree! that must have been wonderful! The great thing about this tart recipe is that it’s so versatile! Try making it with whatever fruit looks good at the market! Plums, apples, even figs!

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