This week on the Market Report, Laura Avery interviews Robert Wemischner, Professor of Baking and Pastry at Los Angeles Trade Technical College and author of The Dessert Architect. This week he’s shopping for persimmons, pomegranates and freshly harvested walnuts for a dessert he calls “late fall on a plate.”
Serves 4 to 6
This simple combination of seasonal fruits ends a festive meal on a light note; served on a platter, this dessert would make a beautiful centerpiece for the dessert table right alongside the apple and pumpkin pies. Use Fuyu variety persimmons which will hold their shape and may be enjoyed in all stages of ripeness, from hard to medium soft to meltingly tender. For this dessert, use the fruit when only slightly softened, which makes them easier to slice and less likely to become mushy when cooked.
4 medium-sized slightly soft Fuyu persimmons, peeled and sliced to about ¼ inch thickness using a mandoline, across the center of the fruit to reveal the star shaped design
3 cups fresh pomegranate juice (crush the pomegranate arils to extract the juice and sieve out any pith) or use fresh juice, available at the farmers market
4 ounces walnut halves, toasted in a 350 degree F. oven for about 7-10 minutes, or until fragrant (watch carefully so that they don’t burn)
1 c. softly whipped cream mixed with Greek yogurt, flavored, as desired with vanilla or rum, and sweetened to taste
In a medium sized saucepan, place the sliced persimmons. Pour the pomegranate juice over them and simmer over low heat until the fruit is somewhat tender (this can take anywhere from 15 minutes to a half hour, depending on the ripeness of the fruit). Carefully remove the fruit with a slotted spoon and array on a platter. Then, over medium to high heat, reduce the poaching liquid to coating consistency. Spoon the reduced liquid over the fruit, dollop the whipped cream/yogurt mixture over or alongside the fruit and serve with the toasted walnuts scattered over.
Recipe by Robert Wemischner
Author of The Dessert Architect