Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pear & Persimmon Crisp

The other day my husband asked me to make something with pears. Baked, that's as specific as he could get, so I decided to make a crisp. It came out really tasty. So, before I forget what I did (could be any minute now) I want to get it in writing so I can make it again. I don't like overly sweet desserts so I'm always happy to come up with a yummy dessert that doesn't just taste like sugar. I'm also not crazy about desserts that are overly spiced with cinnamon, which I like, just not to the point that it overwhelms the rest of the flavors in the dish. On a hunch, I decided to add a little cardamom, it just seemed like a it would be a nice compliment to the pear. That did turn out to be a nice flavor combination. I don't use cardamom a lot so I don't keep ground cardamom around. I have a jar of the whole seed pods and when I want to use it I extract the seeds from the pods and grind them in a little porcelain mortar - much more flavorful than the ground stuff that's been sitting around. Cardamom is also great with coffee, every once in a while I toss a seed pod in with the coffee beans when I grind them up for the one and only cup of the day.

Pear & Persimmon Crisp

2 ripe but firm pears
2 tablespoons sugar
Cinnamon to taste (I like just a little)
Seeds from 3 cardamom pods, ground
1 ripe but not too mushy hachiya type persimmon
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Quarter, core, and cut the pears into pieces. Toss the pears with the 2 tablespoons of sugar, cinnamon to taste, and the ground cardamom. Spread the fruit in a 4 cup gratin or other baking dish. Scoop the ripe persimmon flesh out of its skin, cut it into chunks, and scatter the chunks over the pears, be sure to plop any gooey bits in there as well. Make the topping: put the flour, sugar, and rolled oats into a bowl and toss together. Cut the butter into pieces and add to the bowl, rub into the dry ingredients with your fingers. Mix the walnuts into the topping and then scatter evenly over the fruit. Sprinkle very lightly with a bit more cinnamon. Bake in a preheated 350 F. oven for (here's where I'm starting to forget) about 1 hour, until the top is browned and the crisp is bubbling around the edges. Serve warm, and for an extra indulgence, pour a little cream over it. Makes about 3 servings.

I think a crisp fuyu type persimmon would also be good, cut up and tossed with the pears and sugar.


  1. This looks yummy! I've never eaten persimmons, so I'll have to try it. I'm not a big fan of cardamom, though--isn't that the "flavor" in Earl Grey tea? Do you suppose I could leave it out?

  2. Hi Susan, thanks! Actually, the flavor in Earl Grey is Bergamot, which I can't stand either. If you don't want to take the chance on cardamom just leave it out, or maybe substitute a little ground ginger. And you could just use all pears and leave the persimmon out as well. I happened to have a ripe one sitting there on the counter, so what the heck, in it went!

  3. Ah yes, that's right--bergamot. Tastes a little like soap to me.

    I'll try to find a persimmon and use it. I'm curious to see what it (and cardamom) tastes like!


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