Holiday Desserts: Persimmon Tart with Brown Butter Batter

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Holiday Desserts: Persimmon Tart with Brown Butter Batter

This persimmon tart is what Food52 might call a “Genius Recipe”. It’s adapted from Nancy Silverton, who (back in the day) often featured a berry version at the La Brea Bakery and Campanile restaurant here in Los Angeles. Alas Campanile is no more and La Brea Bakery is merely a grocery store brand of decent bread. Fortunately, this simple recipe lives on and I’ve seen several versions online. It’s also found a new home in a very artful new cookbook from Naomi Pomeroy – Taste & Technique: Recipes to Elevate Your Home Cooking. The Pomeroy version features apricots, making it a real seasonal treat as spring turns into summer.

However, it’s autumn and we are heading into the holidays. Apricots (and even berries) are either unavailable, unedible, or unaffordable – so I’ve adapted this recipe into a persimmon tart perfect for the holidays. Because as Pomeroy says: “The buttery, caramelly filling holds whatever fruit you like”. I like persimmons this time of year.

Persimmon Tart

Persimmon Tart

Not only is this persimmon tart seasonal, but it’s especially suited for the holidays because it’s a good make-ahead dessert that’s best when stored at room temperature. Two talking points that win favor when discussing holiday desserts. And I hate to be the one to tell you, but it’s not too early to be discussing holiday desserts. In fact, it’s time to take a deep culinary breath and hold it for a count of ten. Just around the corner lurks the frenzy of holiday cooking. In my estimation, we have a month tops before the lid flies off the saucepan and starts its annual whirl around the cook. You may want to take the little time we have left and start planning menus.

Speaking of the holidays I’m happy to say that Taste & Technique would make a wonderful gift for the serious cook in your life (and by that I mean YOU). It’s a very sophisticated collection of recipes and advice “designed to improve the home cook’s understanding of professional techniques and flavor combinations in order to produce simple, but show-stopping meals.”

And that’s not just hype. Reading the book gave me the “taste and technique” I needed to adapt a Nancy Silverton classic into my own Persimmon Tart with Brown Butter Batter. Oh, I can’t forget to mention the beautiful photographs by Chris Court, they’ve already begun to influence this blog. GREG

PS: I’ve recently discovered the joys of vanilla paste and have converted this recipe to include it. It’s so much closer in taste and texture to real vanilla beans but it doesn’t dry out. You should see me cry like a baby when I have to throw away a $7 vanilla bean.

vanilla pastepersimmon slices Taste and Technique by Naomi PomeroyPersimmon Tart Persimmon Tart with Brown Butter Batter

Persimmon Brown Butter Tart with Vanilla Cream

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 8Source Adapted from Nancy Silverton and Naomi PomeroyPublished

The brown butter batter can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to ten days. Let it warm to room temperature to reach a spreadable consistency.

Persimmon Tart

Ingredients

  • 1 raw pâte sucrée dough (enough to line a 9 or 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom)
  • 1 egg white (lightly beaten)
  • 3 large eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 tablespoon unsalted butter (cut into ½-inch slices)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla paste
  • 1 cup ripe, fuyu persimmon peeld and cut 3/4-inch dice (about 3 average sized persimmons)
  • vanilla-scented whipped cream (as needed for serving)

Directions

Prepare the tart shell: Place a 9 or 10 x 1-inch tart pan with a removable bottom on a baking sheet.

On a lightly floured surface using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll pastry dough to about a 12-inch round, a generous 1/8-inch thick. Carefully fold dough in half, and slide it onto rolling pin. Transfer to a 9 or 10-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom. Unfold the dough, easing it gently into pan; do not stretch the dough. Press the dough into place, then run your roller over the edges of the pan, trimming it flush with the top all the way around. Transfer lined tart pan to a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill in the freezer until firm, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, set the oven rack to the center position and preheat to 375 degrees F.

Once chilled, prick bottom of tart shell all over with a fork, line with parchment paper that extends beyond the rim at least 1 ½-inches all around. Fill with pie weights or dried beans; bake on center rack of heated oven for 15 minutes. Remove parchment and weights, and continue to bake until set and lightly golden, about 8-10 minutes more. Remove the tart pan from the oven one last time and brush with egg whites to seal the holes. Bake for 5 minutes more. Let the tart shell come to room temperature before continuing.

Make the filling: Whisk together the eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy. Fold in flour and salt until well-combined; set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat the butter until brown and foamy. Continue heating, swirling the pan often, until bubbles subside, the butter is brown and gives off a nutty aroma. Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly and stir in vanilla paste.

Whisking continuously, slowly drizzle the warm brown butter vanilla mixture into egg mixture in a slow, steady stream until the batter is well-combined. Set aside.

Bake the tart: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the prepared tart shell on a baking sheet and spread the peeled and diced persimmon evenly across the bottom. There should be some space between the persimmon, don’t use it all if there is not. Pour just enough of the brown butter batter over the persimmon to just cover. It’s fine if edges of the persimmon peek out of the batter. Do not overfill the tart as it rises during baking.You probably won’t use all the batter, you may bake it separately in a small ramekin if you like.

Carefully move the tart on its baking sheet to the heated oven and bake for 50 to 55 minutes. When cooked, the top will form a crisp layer that separates from the rest of the filling, but it should be soft in the center. It may require an additional 5 minutes. Use your judgment. The edges of the tart may be rather dark. This is expected. However, if the edges get too dark you may drape them in foil for the last 8 or 10 minutes of baking.

To serve: Allow the tart to cool at least 1 hour before attempting to get the tart out of the shell then slice the tart and dollop with vanilla-scented whipped cream

Pâte Sucrée

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 10/11-inch tartSource Adapted from Naomi PomeroyPublished
Pâte Sucrée

Ingredients

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 14 tablespoon cold butter (cut into ½ cubes)

Directions

Whisk egg yolks and cream in a small bowl; set aside.

Pulse flour, butter, sugar, and salt in a food processor several times until well combined. Add the butter and pulse for 2 or 3 seconds 8-10 more times, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Remove the lid and drizzle egg-cream mixture all over the flour and butter, and replace the top. blend just to combine (do not overwork dough or crust will be tough). Pulse several more times to distribute moisture.

Transfer dough to a large work surface. Knead just to incorporate, 4-5 turns. Shape the dough into a 6-inch disc. Wrap the disc in plastic and chill at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.

I was sent a review copy of Taste & Technique: Recipes to Elevate Your Home Cooking. All opinions are my own.

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