Adapted from a Giada de Laurentiis recipe
Jan loves persimmons and she loves pie. As usual, she tied to make it healthier and her own. While this dessert may not have been in keeping with the theme of my Indian feast, who cares? It was a great pie!
The two most common varieties of persimmon (Kaki) available in America are Fuyu and Hachiyas. Fryu are flat,round and firm. They are very good eaten raw. Hachiyas are more pepper-shaped and very soft when ripe. They are better for baking. For this dish we used Fuyu, because they have a slight pumpkin flavor when cooked that paired very nicely with the squash.
Jan’s Persimmon Pumpkin Pie
1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup powdered sugar
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced
3 Tbs. mascarpone cheese, chilled
2 Tbs. Karl’s Micro Marmalade
1 small pumpkin pie pumpkin
4 ripe (Fuyu) persimmons
1 Tbs. cornstarch
⅓ cup half and half cream
½+ cup brown sugar
⅓ cup mascarpone
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1. Preheat the oven to 350º F.
2. Lightly Pam the bottom of a 9-inch-diameter pie pan.
Tip: Do not spray the edges or lip of the pan or the crust will slump down into the pie.
3. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, sugar and salt until combined.
4. Add the butter and cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter, until the butter bits are smaller than a pea.
5. Fold in the mascarpone cheese and blend the mixture until well blended. Gather the dough into a ball.
6. Pinch off pieces of dough and press the dough bits together in the pan to form a smooth crust that come up over the lip of the pie pan.
Tip: Smooth the crust out with damp fingers.
7. Using a fork, prick the dough all over.
8. Bake the crust until the edge is browned and the center of the crust is pale golden, about 25 minutes.
9. Let the crust cool slightly and spread the bottom and sides of the crust with the marmalade.
10. Quarter and scrape the seeds and strings out of the pumpkin.
11. Rub the cut edges and insides of the pumpkin with one teaspoon of brown sugar.
Tip: You are not trying to “sugar” the flesh, just to aid the browning Maillard reaction.
12. Lay the pieces of pumpkin, cut side up, on a lipped baking tray. Broil, 4 inches from the heat, for 30-40 minutes, until the flesh is starting to pick up some browning and an inserted knife slides in easily.
13. Let the pumpkin cool and then scrap the flesh away from the skin.
14. Chop the pumpkin up into medium sized pieces and wrap them in some cheesecloth. Squeeze as much liquid out as you can.
15. Trim and peel the persimmons.
Tip: The persimmons have a tough, cone-shaped core under the stem cap, very much like a tomato, only harder. Cut this bit out and discard.
16. Put the pumpkin and persimmons in a bowl and blend until smooth with an immersion blender.
Tip: You may use a standing blender, but be careful not to over-blend. You want a puree not a liquid.
17. Mix the cornstarch into the cream.
18. Add the cream mixture, sugar, mascarpone, cinnamon, salt and eggs to the pumpkin mixture. Blend until smooth.
19. Pour the filling into the cooled crust.
20. Bake the pie, at 350º F, until cracks appear and the center is set, about 35 minutes.
Tip: Use a pie crust shield to prevent the edges of the crust from over cooking.
21. Cool the pie on a wire rack.
22. Cut into wedges and serve with dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.