Monday, 8 October 2007

cooked fruit

Must be autumn, I made my first fruit crumble of the new season tonight. There's a slight chill in the air of a morning... and that adds up to fruit puddings of one kind or another. Italians don't seem to do cooked fruit much, for some reason, and they always greet my hot fruit desserts with surprise and/or suspicion. But tonight's plum & almond effort went down well enough. I didn't do custard, it's still far too hot for that (25°/26° most days).Meanwhile we had after dinner we had cachi, one of my flatmate's very favourite fruit. He waxed lyrical about how the first cachi of the year means the beginning of autumn to him. They turn out, upon googling, to be persimmons: a fruit which in my ignorant mind was always something semi-mystical. Didn't Eurydice dine on Persimmons as she awaited Orpheus? Or Hercules steal them from somewhere? Or maybe they Princess Badoura liked nothing better than a ripe persimmon of an evening? I dunno. Anyway, they reminded me of something rather Japanese, perhaps because of the odd glutinous texture which I for some reason associate with Japanese food. Apparently they're common in the states, though. You can make a persimmon pie, to be served with whipped cream (why does this not surprise me?) Perhaps I should cook up some of the (enormous superabundance of) cachi now occupying the fridge, and unite our two autumnal fruit passions.

10 comments:

ursus arctos said...

I wouldn't say that they are "common" in the US. Not unheard of, certainly, but also not the kind of thing that you would find in the fruit section of a "standard" supermarket.

I'm sure the Joy of Cooking includes recipes, but then it has recipes for squirrel and woodchuck, too.

I'd never really thought of the Italians not doing cooked fruit before, but you are of course right. Fruit in various kinds of sauces and juices (sometimes stewed), and crostate, of course, but certainly not a crumble (though they of course do streudel in the Suedtirol).

Paul de Man said...

I think even John Lanchester passes over the persimmon. If in association they are distinctly evocative of Exoticism in general (because to me they suggest minarets, calligraphy, horses, etc, and to you Japan) in practice they are indeed rather more mundane - my first and only persimmon was eaten with our grandparents in Switzerland.

Persimmons remind me of that Pater/Yeats poem about Mona Lisa. Do you know it?

Garibaldy said...

Never mind cooked fruit. Some of us are still waiting on chocolate cake.

ursus arctos said...

And here is a very simple recipe that sort of combines both desires (though you would have to make a hundred of these to get rid of all of your cachi):

Ciambelline con cioccolato e salsa di cachi

Tempo: 10'

Ingredienti: (dose per 4 persone)
4 ciambelline pronte - una confezione di preparato per mousse al cioccolato - latte g 250 - rum - 2 cachi - granella di nocciole

Conto calorie: kcal 554 (KJ 2318) a porzione

Preparate la mousse con il latte, secondo le istruzioni sulla confezione, e raffreddatela in freezer. Sbucciate, snocciolate e frullate i cachi con 1/2 bicchierino di rum. Disponete le ciambelline su un piatto e guarnitele con la mousse, la salsa e un pizzico di granella.

You could also use something more interesting than rum, but 10 minutes prep time is nothing to sneeze at.

Any major dude with half a heart said...

Cachi are delicious, but don't eat the stuff if it's not totally ripe. It leaves the most revolting taste and feeling in your mouth.

de vertalerin said...

PdM is right, your grandmother is very fond of cachi so I'm sure you must have eaten them at (one of)her place(s) ["God has a lot of houses, like nonna", as PdM once remarked on being told that a church was 'God's house'].

I've never found them all that, to be honest. The idea of chocolate and cachi combined is an interesting one, could work very well.

ginkers said...

The pie sounds good to me but then, living in Scotland, a pie always sounds good to me!

Giuseppe said...

MH was faster. She made a crumble last Sunday for lunch, WITH custard (how can you have a crumble without?!), but here's Luxembourg... It was an apple crumble tough, not as exciting as yours, unless we start talking about Adam and Eve...

Antonio Gurrado said...

Persimmon, that's it! I had a long discussion about it with Oxford exchange students in Pavia a few days ago. In the end, I ate all the cachi I wasn't able to translate. They didn't.

G.

MH said...

There was nothing tough about my apple crumble - I hope Giuseppe meant "though". I shall have to chastise him.