Last year I took the plunge and decided to finally try persimmons. I had bought them many times but they were only used for decoration, or sat on my counter while I tried to decide what to do with them. And then I made Persimmon Butter, which remains one of the single greatest things I’ve made in the last year. So after I licked the persimmon butter jar clean and was wishing I had more, I went out and bought about 5 more pounds of persimmons. And I looked at them lovely on my counter as I couldn’t devote any attention to them at that precise moment. And then they started to get a little soft and I thought, “Okay. I gotta use these, especially after all that talk about not knowing what to do with them and letting them go bad.” Ice cream. I know it’s practically a cop-out at this point. I mean, what haven’t I turned into ice cream?! But the truth is, that caramel-y flavor of roasted persimmons and their natural sweetness is the perfect base for ice cream. The puree texture is luscious and silky. The color is beautiful. And then, well, there’s the gorgeous flavor. So I give you another sweet recipe: Roasted Persimmon Ice Cream.
I’d kind of forgotten about that first time I made Persimmon Ice Cream until I started seeing persimmons at the store again this year. I bought a huge pack of them at Costco and went straight to roasting them for the purpose of ice cream. It’s that good, my friends. And I have another few pounds on my counter right now destined for more Persimmon Butter. I can’t get enough. And after that, I’m not sure. I may get back to pretty salads. (No promises. wink, wink)
The really cool thing about this persimmon ice cream is that it doesn’t have ANY added sugar. None. Zilch. It is 100% sweetened by the roasted persimmons and a little orange juice. Not even maple syrup. As I’ve tried to move towards less sweet dessert (not that I don’t enjoy the other kind…ahem), I am appreciating the actual flavors of the fruit. Persimmons have a wonderful flavor. Roasting really does enhance it – almost like butterscotch. It’s like magic. So even if you never end up turning them into ice cream, promise you’ll at least roast some persimmons this year because they are FANTASTIC!
As I’ve gotten a little older and maybe more advance in the kitchen, I’m also finding that I’m appreciating winter produce more and more all the time. I think participating in the monthly #EatSeasonal round-ups really helps. (See Becky’s December Product Guide ideas!) I’m able to see what my fellow blog friends are making out of fruits and veggies I may have never tried or how they are being used in new ways. I mean citrus season has arrived! Pomegranates! Cruciferous veggies – probably my very favorite group! Root veggies! You can’t go wrong here. As much as I love summer and fall fruits and veggies, winter is slowly warming my heart. (tee hee)
Be sure to check out these gorgeous, vibrant recipes. I see so many that I want on my holiday table!
Pomegranate Vinaigrette by Joy Food Sunshine
Potato Leek Soup with Italian Sausage by Completely Delicious
Winter Greens with Pomegranate Seeds and Olives by Letty’s Kitchen
Asian Kale Power Salad by She Likes Food
Crunchy Apple-Pear Salad with Pomegranate, Pine Nuts & Yogurt by Simple Bites
Pesto Pasta with Crispy Brussels Sprouts and Bacon by Vintage Mixer
Winter Fruit and Yogurt Breakfast Bowls with Gingerbread Granola by Floating Kitchen
Mini Cranberry Orange Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crust by Flavor the Moments
Beet and Root Vegetable Tian with Apple Cider Reduction by Food for my Family
One last bit about this gorgeous ice cream – this time around I made a few variations to my original recipe. I was just curious to see if I infused the cream and milk with some of my favorite flavors, if they would play well with the persimmon. It worked, and it’s delicious, but I also appreciate the straightforward flavor of the persimmons. So I have included them as options – feel free to choose one, two, or all. The lemon juice and orange juice do help brighten the flavor, so don’t leave those out.
Roasted Persimmon Ice Cream
1 pound persimmons, about 5 medium
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 sprig fresh rosemary (optional)
1 vanilla bean (optional)
1 bay leaf (optional)
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
Juice of 1 lemon
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Prepare persimmons by peeling, coring, and slicing into wedges. Toss the wedges with the melted butter. Arrange in a single layer on the lined baking sheet. Roast for 45-60 minutes, or until golden and tender.
Meanwhile, place heavy cream, whole milk, rosemary sprig, vanilla bean, and bay leaf, if using, in a saucepan. Heat until very hot, but do not boil. Turn off heat and allow to steep while persimmons are roasting.
When persimmons are finished roasting, allow them to cool slightly, then transfer to a blender. Add the orange and lemon juice.
Strain out the rosemary, vanilla bean, and bay leaf from the cream mixture and pour into the blender with the persimmon wedges. Scrape the seeds out the inside of the vanilla bean and add to the blender. Puree until very smooth.
Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until very cold, about 3-4 hours, or overnight.
Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions.
Makes about 1 1/2 quarts.