I thought quite hard about what we should try for this month’s seasonal ingredient recipes and I settled on a fruit that I’ve never cooked with and never actually even eaten before; the persimmon. These fruits come from almost all over the world but are commonly found in China, Japan and Korea but also grow in southern Europe and even here, in the UK! They’re a bit of a weird fruit, they look VERY bright orange/yellow in colour like a bell pepper but they feel firm like an apple, when I cooked and ate mine in this recipe they reminded me more of a pear consistency as they stayed quite firm even after stewing in a pan for 15 mins and baking in the oven for 45 mins. They have a light, very sweet taste, and seem to go well with the Bramley apples and blackberries that I paired them with.
If you’ve been reading the blog for a while then the idea of a “scrumble” will be nothing new to you as I made it for the first time last year, you can see that one here, but if you are new (welcome!), a scrumble is basically a crumble dessert but instead of making the classic crumb-texture we make a very basic scone dough and drop large clumps randomly onto the filling and as it bakes you end up with this beautiful scone-dough on top that is crunchy on the outside but light and crumbly inside, the perfect topping to this soft and warm fruit dessert!
3 Cooking Apples, peeled, cored and diced
2 Persimmons, peeled and diced
50g Caster Sugar
250g Plain Flour
125g Butter, softened
100g Caster Sugar
4 tbsp Milk
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 tsp Granulated OR Brown Sugar, for sprinkling on top
Preheat the oven to 200C/ 180 Fan/ Gas Mark 6. In a medium saucepan add in the apples, sugar and persimmon and heat on low for around 15 mins until the sugar coats the fruit and begins to soften and stew, occasionally stir the fruit to make sure the sugar doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan.
Gently stir in the blackberries then pour the filling into a casserole dish and set aside.
Now we’re going to make the scone topping! Place the flour, butter, sugar, milk and vanilla into a medium bowl and mix together until you have a smooth, moist pastry.
Now rip your pastry into roughly the size of golf balls (try not to mould them into perfect shapes, I think it looks better if you have chunks of pastry) and place them randomly all over your filling. I start by placing one in each corner and work my way around until you can only see the filling through little gaps, make sure to use all of your pastry! At this point, you can sprinkle the sugar over the topping (I forgot this time…) don’t forget to sprinkle sugar into all the gaps too.
Place the scrumble in the oven to cook for 40-45 mins, I checked on it around 30 mins in just to check it wasn't burning and turn it around. Once the filling is bubbling and the scrumble topping is crisp and brown, it’s ready to eat!
Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 2-3 mins whilst you prepare some bowls and some custard if you want to.
Talk about winter warmer! I loved the first scrumble I made last year and I think this new one just confirms how tasty the recipe is, obviously I didn't really change anything from the last one except adding in our persimmon and to be honest, you could add pretty much any fruit into this and it would still be amazing but I thought we would experiment with the persimmon and it definitely wasn’t a mistake! I chose not to peel the persimmon but I said to peel it on the ingredients list because the peel stayed quite firm after cooking, if you don’t mind chewing the skin like on cooked pears then leave it on, but it’s not my favourite texture.
This scrumble is something I’ll be making every year regardless of whether I add new ingredients in or not, it’s so simple, difficult to mess up and I can guarantee will be a favourite with all your loved ones each time.
The persimmon was a pretty good addition as it has a sweet, very light vanilla taste so it hits just right with the tart-tasting apples and blackberries to create a lovely warm filling, perfect for these freezing evenings!
I hope you find the time to try this out for yourself and/or the ones you love this year.