Today is a baby bowl celebration! If you guys haven't heard already, the lovely Cynthia from Two Red Bowls has brought bowl #3 into this world. Her new little family is just too beautiful for words so we wanted to send lots of love their way by sharing some tasty bowl-themed recipes with you all. Huge thanks to Steph and Alana for organizing this virtual baby celebration. You can head over to their blogs to see a full list of all the recipes.
One of the things I love most about Cynthia's awe-inspiring blog is she's not afraid to use more obscure ingredients or make recipes that might be unfamiliar to most of us. I first learned about mentaiko through her fabulous recipe, and she taught me there's something called korean army base stew that's this crazy and delicious concoction of spam, ramen, cheese, kimchi and other ingredients you wouldn't think should go together. For today's recipe I wanted to honor Cynthia's blog by sharing a cobbler with persimmons, a fruit you wouldn't normally think to use as the filling for a baked good.
I kept flip flopping over making this recipe because part of me was afraid it would turn out terribly as I had never baked with persimmons before, but the other part of me said to be bold like Cynthia. Turns out, persimmons hold up surprisingly well and have a texture similar to peaches when baked. Any doubts I had were swiftly squashed after the first bite of subtly sweet filling paired with warm and pillowy biscuits. And now that we're quickly approaching a cold season void of fresh berries or stone fruits, persimmons make for the perfect depths-of-winter cobbler. Enjoy guys, and congratulations Cynthia, B2, and B3!
Biscuit topping adapted from Martha Stewart
It's really important to use fuyu persimmons for this cobbler. They are round and squat in shape, and firm and sweet in taste. They'll hold up well when baked. The other main type, hachiya, is too soft when ripe to use for this recipe.
The amount of lemon juice and sugar called for in this recipe are rough approximations, it really depends on how sweet your persimmons are to begin with and how sweet or bright you like your cobbler!
I used an oval baking dish measuring 9 by 13 inches, any similarly sized dish (such as 10 by 10 square, or a large pie pan) will also work beautifully.
Serves about 8.
For the filling:
2 & 1/2 lb (8 to 10) fuyu persimmons, peeled, seeds (if any) removed, and sliced into wedges
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
For the biscuit topping:
1 & 1/2 cups (187 grams) all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
3/4 cup heavy cream, cold
heavy cream for brushing
sanding sugar for finishing
vanilla ice cream/crème fraîche/whipped cream for serving (optional)
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine persimmons, sugar, lemon juice, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix with a spatula until the persimmons are evenly coated and no lumps of sugar or flour remain. Set aside while you make the biscuit dough.
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium mixing bowl. Add butter and mix with a pastry blender or two forks until the pieces are the size of small peas. Add heavy cream and mix with a spoon until the dough starts coming together. Use your hands and knead a few times until all the shaggy pieces have been incorporated (you'll want to do this as quickly as possible so the butter doesn't melt). Turn the dough onto a clean counter, roll it out until 1/2 inch thick, and cut into 9 to 10 roughly even sized pieces.
Transfer persimmon filling to a baking dish and top with the biscuit dough. Brush biscuits with a thin layer of heavy cream, sprinkle with sanding sugar, and bake for 40 to 50 minutes until the filling is bubbling and the biscuits are golden. Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes before serving. Enjoy!