This delicate oriental fruit is native of China. It spread to Japan very long ago and later was introduced to California during the middle of nineteenth century.  The health benefits of this bright orange colored fruit are highly related to their rich contents of fibers,  vitamins A and C while also helping to lower blood pressure. But enough about the medical side.

The first time I tried a persimmon it was the Hachiya or Japanese variety. They are large and round, with a slightly elongated, pointed base that are better for baking. (I know this now) Unfortunately, I didn’t know that this variety of persimmon shouldn’t be eaten until it is extremely ripe. It tasted like industrial-strength cleaner, very astringent. Once ripe, they have a smooth, creamy texture and a tangy sweetness.  Since then, I’ve learned that fuyus, which are short and squat that resemble a small tomato or acorn. These are the variety to buy for eating fresh. When shopping look for fruit that is plump with smooth, glossy skin. If they are not ripe just place the fruit in a punctured brown paper bag and keep at room temperature. Store ripe fruit in the refrigerator till you use it.  

There are so many was to use either.  You can make salsa, salads, breads, cookies,  butter. I have even made margaritas with them! Wait, I try to make everything in to a margarita thou.

Here is a great main dish for right now.

Duck Jus
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 shallots, sliced
1pint Madeira
8 ounces roasted duck bones
2 quarts chicken or duck stock

Fruit Puree

¼ cup dried cherries

¼ cup dried cranberries
1 pint ruby port
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon rice vinegar

Roasted Duck Breast
2 duck breasts
1 cup blanched spinach
2 1-ounce pieces foie gras, seared  (I have to add foie because our former governor signed a bill to out law it very soon)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Duck Jus

Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan and sauté the sliced shallots. After shallots have begun to brown, deglaze the pan with the Madeira and cook until reduced by half, scraping the sides with a wooden spoon. Add the duck bones and the stock and reduce the entire mixture until 1 pint of liquid remains. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve to clarify. Set aside.

Stone Fruit Puree
In a sauce pan on medium heat, add the cherries, cranberries and port. Cook until the port evaporates. Add the pomegranate seeds, salt and pepper. Then blend in a blender until smooth. Add the rice vinegar and strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Set aside keeping warm.


Roasted Duck Breast
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Spread the layer of caul fat on a clean surface. Next lay down the duck breasts, spinach, foie gras between them. Roll up the caul fat to form a tight log encasing the breast. Season the roll generously with salt and pepper. Sauté the duck in a small pan over medium heat, turning to brown. Finish cooking the duck in the oven for approximately six minutes. Remove the duck from the oven and allow to rest for four minutes; then slice to plate.

To Assemble and Serve 
Combine the butter and oil in a sauté pan over medium heat until the butter begins to brown add the persimmon, chestnuts and brussel sprout leaves. Cook for 1 minute, seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and finish with the herbs. Serve the brussel sprout mixture in the center of the warm plate and top with slices of duck breast, jus and a pool of stone fruit puree around the plate.

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