Persimmon and Raspberry Pavlova makes a refreshing winter dessert.
Persimmons have hit the shelves in Canada now and I will confess.. I am on a persimmon kick!
I was always a little wary of persimmons, having heard tales of astringency and bitterness. Well...if you are like I was - fear no more!
The answer is FUYU... Fuyu persimmons can be eaten without fear of bitterness at a consistency much like a ripe pear or plum.
The other common persimmon is Hachiya. This is the one that is astringent and tannic until it is fully, fully ripe - so ripe in fact it is like a blob of mush. Apparently it takes on heavenly qualities at that stage -lush and sweet but if you get it wrong you are in for an unpleasant surprise.
So make life easy for yourself and stick to the Fuyu persimmons. They are rather flat like a small tomato while the Hachiya are a lighter colour and more oblong. Notice that the deeper orange persimmon bottom left is riper than the lighter coloured ones.
Chef's Tips for Persimmon and Raspberry Pavlova
- You can use any winter fruit of your choice in this pavlova but the combination of persimmon and raspberry was very good. I also added a few canned mandarin segments to lend some juiciness to the mix.
- You can use commercial lemon curd if you want to simplify the recipe. The recipe is written to use up the 4 egg yolks left over from the meringue. You will have some left over. If you decide to use commercial lemon curd here are some recipes to use up egg yolks.
- Pavlovas can be made a few days ahead and stored at room temperature in an airtight container. The storage is crucial. Refrigeration makes the meringue sweat out those gold, gooey droplets. If it is not airtight they will go soggy.
- You can prepare the fruit and whipped cream and just assemble up to a few hours before you are ready to serve.
Got some persimmons left over? I am not sure why but I usually se persimmons by the case or a generous bag. So if you have more persimmons to use up check out:
Persimmon Chutney - delicious on cracker or as a glaze.
Persimmon and Raspberry Pavlovas
- 4 egg whites at room temperature
- ¾ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup superfine sugar you can pulse regular granulated sugar in your food processor until it is fine like icing sugar.
- 1 ½ teaspoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon Grand Marnier optional
- 3 lemons zest and juice
- ⅓ cup white sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 3 Tbsps unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 12 segments of mandarin oranges fresh or canned, roughly chopped
- 3 persimmons peeled, cored and sliced
- 12 oz fresh raspberries
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 Tbsps sugar
- ½ teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier optional
- Position oven racks in top and bottom third of the oven. Preheat oven to 275°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Trace out 6 circles using an inverted bowl approximately 4-6 in diameter. Turn parchment paper over.
- Separate eggs and reserve the yolks for making the lemon curd.
- Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add white sugar with mixer running. Mix superfine sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Gradually beat that mix into the meringue. Continue beating until meringue is stiff and glossy. Beat in vinegar and Grand Marnier if using.
- Spoon meringue mixture onto the drawn circles. Spread with the back of a spoon and swirl so the edges are higher than the center.
- Bake for 1 hour, switching the sheets half way through. After 1 hour turn off the oven and leave meringues in the closed oven for another hour or so. Meringue can be made 1-3 days ahead and stored at room temperature in an airtight container.
- Fill a pot or bottom or a double boiler partially with water. Bring to a boil. Set a heatproof bowl over the pot and check to ensure the bowl does NOT touch the water. Reduce heat so water simmers instead of boils.
- Take bowl away from the heat and whisk in the lemon juice and zest, the sugar, egg yolks and salt. Whisk vigorously or beat for a few minutes to ensure mixture is well blended. Set bowl over the simmering water and whisk constantly until curd thickens. This can take about 20 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and whisk in butter until it is melted and mixed well. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface to avoid it developing a 'skin'. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Mix the fruit together. Combine cream, sugar and Grand Marnier, if using. Beat until soft peaks form.
- To assemble, spoon about ¼ cup lemon curd into the well of the meringue shells. Spoon fruit over the curd and some on the side of the plate. Top with whipped cream. You can assemble Pavlovas a couple of hours ahead of time and refrigerate until serving time. Don't go more than a couple of hours or the meringue might start to 'weep'.