You’d think with all this persimmon madness, I’d have had a love affair with it since the day I was born. Well, maybe not quite that much. But, while I am falling in love with this fruit, we only just met a couple years ago. Only available for a short time of the year, I am doing my best to incorporate it in many different ways this fall.
Working as a baker has me a little worried about my almost daily proximity to white flour and white sugar and even the “healthier” versions of those things. I fear I’m getting a little rounder ’round the middle than I’ve been in a several years, and starting to crave sugar a lot. One way I can combat these issues is by replacing them with raw dessert, which is my favorite kind of sweets anyhow! I am lucky enough to work (at my raw restaurant job) with a talented raw dessert foodie. She’s all kinds of whoa-mazing and introduces me to new techniques and flavor combos. I’m especially grateful for her crust method, which I’ve only tested out with a high-speed blender, but a powerful food processor should get the trick done as well…grinding your coconut flakes into a very fine powder before adding dates and/or nuts makes for a spectacularly structurally sound crust! (Try saying that last part five times fast.)
I bring my own twist by marrying persimmons with one of my true loves: coconut. In fact, I made a highly tasty parfait around this time last year with this combination, but here I went with for mini tarts. This recipe makes 3 mini tarts (4-inch forms), with likely a little extra filling, but it could easily be doubled for a full-size tart. While the crisp I made earlier called for the firm Fuyu persimmon, here you want to use some very soft, ripe Hachiya persimmons. Make sure you taste your persimmons before you start blending! I learned the hard way that mine weren’t up to snuff when I got a mouthful of chalky nastiness in a nibble and had to start over. You’ll get the best results for this with a high-speed blender, but a food processor will work in a pinch. Hooray for gluten-free, nut-free dessert! (Oh yeah, and if you haven’t caught my post about cracking young coconuts, check it out here. The resulting water, by the way, makes an excellent beverage to serve alongside these tarts!)
Raw Persimmon Coconut Tarts
makes 3 mini tarts
3/4 cup coconut flakes
pinch of salt
4-5 pitted dates
1 cup very roughly chopped Hachiya persimmons
1/2 cup young coconut meat
1 pitted date (soaked in water and drained if too dry)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange blossom water (optional)
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon mace (or nutmeg will do)
1 tablespoon liquid coconut oil
coconut water, as needed to help with blending
First make your crusts: process coconut flakes and salt into a fine powder in a high speed blender or food processor. Add dates and process until dough holds together when pinched. Sprinkle into three mini tart forms and press in firmly. Set aside.
Blend all filling ingredients until smooth and creamy, adding coconut water as necessary to help blend, but not too much or the filling will be too loose. Pour filling into the crusts and pop into the freezer for 15 minutes to set up, and store in the refrigerator. Garnish with additional shredded coconut if desired!