Seriously, the persimmon was apparently referred to as the “fruit of the gods” by the ancient Greeks and, if you’ve ever had one, you’ll know that they were absolutely right. The persimmon almost tastes like eating candy. Or honey. Or honey candy.
Aka my favorite thing… mmmmm…
Persimmons are most commonly sold as either the Hachiya or the Fuyu persimmon. These varieties are grown in the US mostly in California, but it should be noted that they are native to Asia- China and Japan. Apparently there is an American cultivar that is called (believe it or not) the American Persimmon, which is grown on the east coast/southern US, but I have never encountered this variety to comment on the suitability here.
The Fuyu is what I included here because, unlike the Hachiya, it is quite edible even when firm. And a firm fruit is what you are looking for when making a baked fruit dessert, such as this one. A too soft fruit would turn to mush, but the Fuyus are perfect for softening and sweetening but maintaining a delicious texture. I’ve never tried the Hachiya, but based on my reading about this variety I wouldn’t recommend it as it tends to be too soft once it is ripe enough for consuming.
Now let’s talk about the merits of this Persimmon Cranberry Gingersnap Crumble. This recipe developed out of “necessity” for more superfluous sugar in my life. Aka I needed some dessert right NOW, please. (And we all know who doesn’t do well with delayed gratification…) Also let’s not forget that it’s almost thanksgiving and, I, as a food blogger, feel the moral obligation to provide an offering of a non-pumpkin type dessert recipe for any follower who might be looking for some inspiration.Also – I really cannot overstate how amazing this dessert is. Really.
Basically this is an adaptation of Smitten Kitchen’s version of this crumble using pear. Which is awesome. But I did try her recipe and found the pears a little flat and the dessert was just a little too sweet for my taste. I upgraded the pears to persimmons because, you know, they were so pretty at the store and screaming “buy me!” to which i said “why yes please!” and proceeded to toss them with a little lemon juice (ok maybe a lot) and just a little bit of sugar.The topping is actually genius- I updated just barely for my preferences (a little less sugar, a little more spice, and a little added salt). I’m not even sure if I will ever consider going back to an oatmeal crumble topping again. It is essentially made of crushed gingersnaps with a little flour and butter to hold it all together. And you can add a little sugar, a little spice, and a little salt (as I did) for flavor.Bake this beauty for 55 minutes and be gratified with the most amazing fruit crumble you ever did see. And the most delicious fruit crumble you ever did taste.
Persimmon Cranberry Gingersnap Crumble
_For the Filling_
- 2 lbs fuyu persimmons about 5 large, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick
- 1 ½ cups fresh cranberries roughly chopped
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Zest of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
_For the topping_
- 1 cup/ 4 oz. gingersnap cookie crumbs you can make these by blitzing whole cookies in the food processor or by placing whole cookies in a large ziplock and crushing cookies with a rolling pin.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup brown sugar packed
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 cup melted butter cooled
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In large mixing bowl, combine persimmons, cranberries, sugar, salt, vanilla, lemon zest/juice, and cornstarch. Mix well to combine and until cornstarch dissolves.
- Pour fruit into a 2 quart baking dish (I used a 10.5 inch quiche pan).
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine cookie crumbs, flour, sugars, spices, and salt. Whisk to combine thoroughly. Pour melted butter into the mixture and mix thoroughly until large crumbs form.
- Evenly distribute crumbs over the fruit mixture.
- Bake for 55 minutes, or until topping is browned and fruit mixture is bubbling and gooey.
- Crumble will set as it cools to room temperature.