I was recently gifted with a grocery sack filled with un-ripe persimmons. Since then I've been anxiously waiting for them to ripen, and dreaming of all the wonderful concoctions yet to make.
Well, that day has arrived and, horror of all horrors, my 25 year old oven just died! Of all times to give up the ghost, I had just put a lasagna in, 20 minutes prior to the arrival of eight dinner party guests. T minus ten minutes we realized it was not heating.
A McGyver to the core, my husband tore it apart on the spot and determined the oven igniter had quit. Are you kidding me, right now??? (A favorite saying of mine - not his.) Ever the optimist, he was sure we could bake the lasgna on broil, so he dragged a chair into the kitchen and stationed himself at the oven door, opening it to let heat out every several minutes when it got too hot, then closing it again to let the heat build up.
It cooked the lasagna, alright. The top was crisp and the bottom, soggy, but we ate it anyway.
Now, we are still waiting on the igniter to arrive and my persimmons are ripe!
If you know persimmons, one minute they're ripe and the next, they are mush. This is a full blown emergency. I need to use them today!
The best course of action is to make a Persimmon puree and freeze it for later use, but today, being that it's Friday, I think a cocktail is in order. A Persimmon cocktail.
Let's see how this goes...
The first step is to get a rosemary simple syrup going. When it comes to simple syrup, I always use brown sugar instead of white, as it has a better depth of flavor. And, I always add an herb or spice. Herbs elevate cocktails to a new level. In this case, I love the taste of rosemary with peaches, and persimmons are somewhat similar to a peach.
Rosemary is the toughest herb I know, and here in Southern California, it thrives year round in my backyard, so I frequently use it in both sweet and savory dishes.
Once the simple syrup is simmering, I tackled the persimmons. Slippery little buggers, they are - and there are a lot of them!
I pitted them with a melon baller, (reserving the seeds - let's see if I can get one to sprout) then sliced them in half, scooped out the flesh with a tablespoon and pureed them in the food processor. I ended up with around six cups of puree. No harm in sneaking some into a cocktail. There is plenty left to freeze for when my oven is back in business.
Persimmon Rosemary Margarita
4 oz persimmon puree
3 oz tequila
1 oz brandy
1 oz lime juice (fresh squeezed)
Rub the rim of two margarita glasses with a slice of lime then dip rim into equal parts brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.
Add persimmon puree, tequila, brandy and lime juice to a shake with ice and shake vigorously. When you think you have shaken enough, shake some more.
Pour into margarita glass and enjoy!
Rosemary Simple Syrup
Combine equal parts light brown sugar and water. Add a few springs of rosemary. Bring to a boil, then turn down and let simmer 10 -15 minutes. Turn off heat and let cool. Strain.
Simple syrup will keep in the refrigerator for weeks.