The first time I noticed persimmons I was navigating through an over-crowded outdoor market in Sète on the last day of my late-October vacation. Signs of the off-season were everywhere: windows with navy blue shutters intact, boats docked, and sails wrapped securely around the boom with thick white rope. It was a time when the breeze off the sea held the promise of a slight chill and the south of France should, in theory, have been slowing down. But the market was as alive as ever.
When I first saw the golden yellow skin and green leaf of the fruit I didn’t know at the time to be called persimmons, I thought it was a tomato of sorts, native to the region. Or perhaps some odd kind of apple. I approached the market stall, getting just close enough to read the sign before nonchalantly digging through my bag to find my phone, which held the promise of culinary enlightenment through the wonders of Google translate.
Upon returning to Vendôme, I purchased three persimmons from the Friday market, although I was unsure at the time exactly how to eat them. I soon learned that this fruit, native to China and boasting a wide array of health benefits, is, in fact, incredibly versatile. Cookies, bread, muffins, tarts, or simply raw… the possibilities seemed endless.
My first foray into the persimmon world was…. (drum roll, please)…. cookies. Let me be more precise: really easy, quick, healthy, and DELICIOUS gluten-free cookies requiring only 1 mixing bowl, 4 ingredients (mashed persimmons, oats, cinnamon, and raw cacao), 15 minutes in the oven, and no refined sugar.
Needless to say, I was hooked.
The following week, I bought some more persimmons. When making the cookies, I waited for the persimmons to get nice and ripe so they would be easier to mash into cookie batter. This time, however, I used the fruits right away to make a persimmon honey galette.
PSA: don’t be fooled by how fancy the French word “galette” sounds. It is basically just a free-form, more rustic-looking tart that’s my go-to because I don’t have a tart pan (I know, I know… quelle horreur).
I rolled out my dough onto a baking sheet, loaded in the sliced persimmons which had been resting in a bit of lemon juice, and folded over the edges. Before popping it in the oven, I drizzled some honey over the top. Talk about a dessert, people!
I’ve also added persimmons to my warm stovetop and cold overnight oats which, let me tell you, makes it far easier to get out of bed in the morning.
Next up: I want to dry persimmons in the oven. Not sure how this will turn out, but I’ll definitely keep you posted. In the meantime, check out one taste at a time’s instagram for more.
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