Thursday, November 5, 2009

Persimmons & Apples

Ah fall, it's dark most of the time, the leaves brilliantly colored and falling, there is a nip in the air along with quite a bit of rain, and the persimmons and apples are in season.

Persimmons & Apples

Persimmons are a fruit I tried for the first time last year, so I don't really know all that much about them other than they are a delicious snack. I do however intend to experiment with them this season, I just haven't made it to my local Asian market to pick up a box.

One tip to keep in mind if you try the Hachiya variety (the one in back on it's side in the picture above) is that you need to wait until the fruit is very soft and has an almost jelly-like texture inside, otherwise it's VERY astringent, the other common variety the Fuyū (the one that looks a little like a flat tomato) is ok to eat when it's still fairly hard and has a completely different texture from the Hachiya, it's a lot like a plum.

I know that traditionally, at least in my neck of the woods, Granny Smith apples are used in baking, but I don't really see the point in using sour fruit and then adding a whole bunch of sugar to it. Instead I like to use Breburn, Fuji, or Honey Crisp, they're all much sweeter, great for snacking, and they hold up well in baking. This year I think I'll experiment with the Pink Lady and Macintosh varieties to see how well they hold up in baking.

One of my family's favorite desserts is Apple Crisp, for the first apple recipe of the season I used Fujis and a basic crisp recipe, but I added a little almond extract & pie spice in with the apples. It was delicious, and completely gone the next day so I didn't get a picture of it. Heck I barely got a piece of it before the apple monster devoured it.

Last weekend I picked up some more Breburns and Fujis and made a deep dish apple pie in a 9"x9".

Deep Dish Apple Pie

For this I kind of combined two recipes, Traditional Apple Pie from Sandi Anderson and Super Apple Pie from Alton Brown. The reason for this was that I really loved the Alton Brown recipe but it's was just too fussy for me.

Using the traditional recipe as the base I doubled the crust, and used half shortening and half butter because both are used in the Alton recipe as well as using hard apple cider instead of ice water to moisten the dough. I must say the smell of the dough with the cider in it was wonderful especially while it was baking.

The filling I pretty much winged, I used caramel sauce and only about a quarter of the sugar it called for in the traditional recipe. Instead of just using cinnamon I used pie spice which also has cloves and nutmeg in it. I also used more of the hard cider and some lemon juice in it, as called for in the Alton recipe, though the recipe called for lime juice.

I think the result was pretty good, though next time I think I'll use more caramel in the pie.

Pie w/Caramel & Icecream