Archive for November, 2008

It is a bumper year for persimmons here in Yamanashi, and I have been gifted them everywhere I turn. Now that the weather is turning chilly, I am craving warm desserts at the end of the day. Pies and tarts are all well and good, but sometimes I either don’t have the time, or the energy to make and chill pie crusts. Fruit crumbles are the answer to my laziness. No rolling, trimming or pre-baking needed. Just chop up some fruit, mix up the crumble topping, and pop it into the oven for 20 minutes or so.

20cm x 20cm pan
Crumble Topping:

  • 100g flour
  • 80g brown sugar
  • 60g butter or margarine
  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of nut meg
  • dash of almond essence
  • * pinch of salt if you are using unsalted butter or margarine

Fruit filling:

  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped (I like Fuji or Red Delicious)
  • 2 persimmons, peeled, de-seeded and chopped (Fuyu or other non astringent persimmon)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • dash of cinnamon

1. Combine apples, persimmons, water, cinnamon and 2 tbsp brown sugar in a saucepan or pot. Heat on high until the liquid is boiling. Cover, and turn down heat to low, stir occasionally and simmer until apples and persimmons are easily pierced by a knife tip (about 10-15 minutes).
2. Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt (if needed) in a large mixing bowl.
3. Melt butter in the microwave on low, or in a saucepan. Mix in a dash of almond essence.
4. Add melted butter to dry ingredients, and fold in gently with a fork until the mixture forms pea and marble sized lumps. The lumps are good, so don’t over mix!.
5. Pour the apple and persimmon mixture into a baking pan, and spoon the crumble topping evenly on top.
6. Bake in the oven at 170 degrees Celcius for 15-20 minutes, or until the topping is a golden brown color.

serves 4-6, and goes great with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


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A few weeks ago, a friends introduced me to Pierre Herme. As someone who isn’t the biggest fan of chocolate, I still could appreciate the rotating chocolate displays and the swanky cafe at the Aoyama branch of Pierre Herme Paris. I’ve been back 3 times, and had a chance to sample some of the delicious desserts and sweets. Although a little pricey, I say if you have the chance to visit, it’s definitely worth the trip.
I bought a box of their famous macarons to try. While the word macaron sounds like macaroon, the chewy coconut cookie, a macaron is a completely different cookie. Light, meringue and nut cookie domes with a chocolate ganache or a cream in between. Heaven.
From left to right:
Chloe: Raspberry and bitter chocolate ganache
*sweet and dark, the brilliant red and brown stood out, and the berry infused ganache was lovely.
Mosaic: Pistachio ganache, a cinnamon cream and griotte cherry halves
*easily my favorite of the box. the sweet creamy taste of pistachio goes really well with the tart cherry fruit and finishes with an unexpected cinnamon.
Rose: Light rose flavored cream
*the light pink outside gives way to a bright (very!) pink interior, and a light cream that doesn’t taste overpowering, or too much like perfume.
Vanilla: Sweet vanilla bean and white chocolate ganache.
*simple, creamy and was gone in a flash.
Citron: Tart lemon cream
*I seem to like my macarons with a little tart edge, this was no exception. delicious.
Caramel: Caramel cream with fleur de sel
*a bit on the sweet side, could taste the burn caramel, but no hint of salt.
Pistachio: Pistachio and white chocolate ganache
*glorious pistachio on it’s own, though the deep green color seemed to scream mint, not pistachio flavor.

Pierre Herme Paris Cafe @ Aoyama, Tokyo, Japan

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