Monday 11 November 2013

Persimmon and Mascarpone Trifle

How did I get so far in life without eating persimmons?  Such a delicious fruit and a beautiful colour that will enhance any dessert dish.  When I recently bought some, I wasn't really sure what I was going to do with them, but I know they are often served with mascarpone cheese.  And mascarpone is often used in tiramisu.  And tiramisu is kind of like trifle... so now you know my thought process.

Although the poaching and subsequent blending with the mascarpone conceals the beautiful colour, it does not take away from the wonderful flavour of the persimmons.

The trifles can be made in individual servings or in a single large bowl.

Poach the persimmons:

Remove stems of 5 persimmons.  Place in a shallow pan.  Drizzle with a small amount of honey and sprinkle with about 2 tsp of cinnamon.  Add water to about halfway.  Simmer until tender, turning the fruit over partway.

Make custard:

3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk

Separate yolks from egg white; reserve egg white for later.  Combine yolks and sugar in a bowl.  Combine milk and cream in a double-boiler or sauce pan and cook until scalded.  Temper the mixture by adding a small amount of the scalded cream into the egg yolk/sugar mixture, then combine all back in the pot.  Cook about 15 minutes until mixture begins to thicken.  This is not meant to be a very thick custard.  Pour into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Persimmon-Mascarpone Layer:

Reserved egg white
Poached persimmons
275 gram mascarpone cheese
4 Tbsp white sugar

Beat the reserved egg whites and set aside.

When the poached persimmons are cool, process in a food processor, then run through a food mill or sieve.

Blend the pureed persimmon with mascarpone cheese and sugar.  Fold in the egg whites.

The Trifle:
Ladyfinger biscuits
Persimmon-Mascarpone Mixture
Pistachio nuts

In a trifle dish (glass, straight sides), place a layer of ladyfingers to cover the surface.  Spread over the persimmon-mascarpone mixture.  Place another layer of ladyfingers on top.  Cover with the custard.

Note: Depending on the width and depth of the dish, you may want to layer the ladyfingers more often ... I had two layers of ladyfingers in the mascarpone portion.  For individual servings, the layer will depend on the size of the dish.

Refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours.  To serve, sprinkle with chopped pistachio.

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