Monday, December 2, 2013

Fuyu and Spy Lessons

Northern Spy
Early in November Mr. Glad and I made a visit to our favorite apple farm. (This previous post introduced the topic and those orchards.) We were having company for dinner that week, and for the occasion I baked a pie with some Northern Spy apples, but didn't like it. The fruit was juicy enough, but seeming to lack some zip, so that my pie was actually overly sweet and blah.

When I heard the next morning that son Pathfinder was going to be in town long enough to have dessert with us, I immediately thought to make another pie with my favorite Pippins. It was a success in every way.
Pippin pie

We'd also included some Rome Beauty apples in the boxful we bought. I stewed chunks of all three of these varieties together and stashed them in the freezer. After Christmas I plan to eat them for dessert with a lemon custard sauce. As for the Spy apples still in the box, they make great eating out of hand.

Romes and Pippins
During Advent, ideally I would forgo projects like concocting the vegan desserts that fit with my church's Nativity fast, because one of the blessings of fasting is the extra time that is freed up if you are eating more simply and not fussing over recipes.

But this year we are hosting weekly church history classes at our house, and after the study session people like to stay to chat and nibble. When I brought the persimmons home from the monastery it was with the thought that perhaps I could make something with them to serve on these occasions.

O.K., I admit that it was also because I wanted to have some of that beautiful and cute fruit in my house. If you slice them crosswise you see that they are beautiful inside as well. Very Christian, this fruit.

I used a recipe for Vegan Peanut Butter Apple Bars, from Tasty Kitchen, the area of Pioneer Woman's blog that features reader-submitted recipes. I switched out the apples for persimmons, and because persimmons don't have the tart component that apples do, I decreased the amount of sugar in every layer. The crust is like a peanut butter cookie, which appealed to me.

They were tasty alright, and everyone liked them, but it seemed to me a case of the whole not being equal to the sum of its parts. I liked all the layers better before they went together.

The original recipe also called for a good amount of cinnamon, which I replaced with some cardamom, and that perhaps wasn't spicy enough to compensate for the blandness of the fruit. Maybe the Fuyu persimmons are best fresh, or dried into fruit leather. Or adored for their loveliness.


Farm Girl said...

I think I would like the recipe with the peanut butter crust. That sounds wonderful. I need to get a persimmon tree. I had one but when I had a horse he found it and ate it to the ground. So I guess the branches are as good as the fruit. :)
Pippin apples I think always make the best pies, though I do like baking Romes for baked apples.
Have a lovely day.

Gumbo Lily said...

I love it that you are so willing to try out new things, and you're honest enough to tell us what works and what doesn't. That pie looks fantastic! I've been on a pie kick since Thanksgiving. Pumpkin (from my DIL) and I made a Lemon Cloud Pie on Sunday (with Meyer Lemons).

Anna@stuffedveggies said...

I haven't seen a Northern Spy apple in years - they were my Mother's favorite. You're right - they're best eaten fresh! : )

M.K. said...

What interesting and beautiful food ideas you have, GJ! Those bars look so yummy -- I've never seen anyone cook with persimmons before. Grand job!!

Victoria said...

church history classes! awesome! what is the format? what books are you using? I love this idea!

wayside wanderer said...

I just sat down with an afternoon cup of coffee and either of these yummy desserts would sure be a tasty treat. Sigh. I've never had a persimmon before though I've spotted a tree in our neighborhood.

Jennifer Bliss said...

This looks amazing! WOW!!!! Visiting you from Anna's BLog! Nice place you have here!