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Fuyu Persimmon Shortbread Tart by Chef Charles Wiley:

This is a general recipe I’ve used through the seasons. I’ve used it with blueberries and pears; whatever I have around. Fuyu persimmons are only available until mid-December. I like to spread the word about them as much as I can.



BACKGROUND LOW DOWN:



Chef Charles Wiley's list of accolades include Food & Wine magazine's Best New Chef, cooking at the James Beard House several times (once with compliments from Julia Child), Chef Honoree at the Scottsdale (Arizona) Hall of Fame, and appearances on national TV and international media. He has taped cooking demonstrations for Phoenix, Arizona's local television show, Your Life A to Z, for the last 7 years. This show runs 10 to 11 AM twice a month.
 



It all started with a bottle of Nielsen-Massey Organic Fairtrade Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract (actual name). We asked Chef Wiley to create a recipe using it. The farm-to-forker uses NM vanilla in his kitchen at Cafe ZuZu (Hotel Valley Ho, Scottsdale, AZ).

Wiley prepared Fuyu Persimmon Shortbread Tart (below) and Duck Salad with Sun-dried Cherries, Apple & Goat Cheese (next month's TK). These two dishes are an example of what Wiley would serve at his monthly Chef's Table, which features four different dishes. He explains how the concept came about:

The Chef’s Table, in normal vocabulary, is
inside the kitchen. Since ZuZu's kitchen bleeds
into the dining room, we thought,
What the
heck? We started with a theme, specific ingredients like tomatoes, and started adding wines and other spirits.
 

This month's Chef's Table features Champagnes










ON TO THE KITCHEN . . .



  STEP #1:
   The Shortbread Tart




      

      This shortbread dough is a bit
      thicker than a traditional tart
      dough.



 
     

     The dough will go into a 9-inch
     tart pan, so I roll it out about
     10 inches.
  
  
   

    Mold the dough a little above the
   rim of the tart pan, because it
   will shrink down
.


   

   Weigh it down with white beans,
   and pop it in the oven.


  STEP #2: The Fuyu Persimmons:

Fuyus are naturally sweet. You can eat them like candy. The hachiya are astringent and require a lot of sugar—which I don’t like to do. A lot of folks pass these up in the grocery stores. They don’t know how to use them, and they think they’re unripe. I use them a lot in salads.

HOW TO CHOOSE THEM:

      
Fuyu persimmons from McClendon’s Select.

     Chose the ones that are nice and
     firm. They're not like the hachiya
     persimmons, which are soft when
     ripe.
HOW TO PEEL THEM:

           

     Dig out the top leaves. I peel
    these persimmons gently to just
    barely take the outside skin off
    because they’re too special to
    waste any of the fruit.

HOW TO CUT THEM:

    

 
   To get 10 pieces, cut in half, then
   cut one piece off the half and
   then cut the remainder in half.
   Repeat on the other persimmon.
  You’ll have 20 pieces.


 STEP #3:  The Filling


Add sugar slowly;
Eggs one-at-a-time



      








Break eggs separately in a bowl, not in the mixture, because if you get a piece of shell in it, you’ll never get it out. But add eggs one at a time, like cheesecake. Scrape down and make sure everything is incorporated.

 
   
                



You can smell the vanilla and lemon. The vanilla smells incredible.

                                                                 

Add lemon zest
and vanilla


    

STEP #4:  The Assembly


Line the fruit around
the tart crust . . .

         

       


Pour cheese mixture
over the fruit . . .



    



Bake at 350 degrees.




    

  THE RECIPE:
 

                                                               


Fuyu Persimmon Shortbread Tart
8 to 10 Servings

2 each               Fuyu persimmons, each cut into 10 wedges
1 each                 Pre-baked tart shell (recipe right)

8 ounces            Cream cheese
6 ounces            Powdered sugar
2 each               Eggs
1 teaspoon         Lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon     Nielsen-Massey Organic Fairtrade Madagascar
                           Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract            

Arrange the persimmons in the pre-baked tart shell.


In a mixer fitted with a paddle, soften the cream cheese on low speed. Add half of the sugar and incorporate into the cream cheese on low speed. Add the remaining half and mix in. On medium speed, add the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the bowl and add lemon zest and vanilla; mix. Pour cream cheese mixture over the fruit and spread evenly.


Place tart on a baking sheet and bake in a pre-heated 350-degree oven for approximately 30 minutes or until cream is set (center will still appear a little loose).


Allow to cool. Can be refrigerated or served at room temperature. Cut into 8 or 10 slices and serve.



Shortbread Tart Crust
Makes one 9-1/2-inch tart


1 cup                         All purpose flour
2 Tablespoons           Sugar
1/2 teaspoon             Baking powder
1/4 teaspoon             Salt
2 each                       Egg yolks, hard boiled
3 Tablespoons           Unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup                     Heavy cream
    

P
lace all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, stir together. Pass the egg yolks through a fine sieve and add to dry ingredients.

Cut the butter in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Add the cream and stir until incorporated. Finish kneading by hand.


On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 10-1/2-inch circle about 3/8-inch thick. Lightly butter a 9-1/2-inch fluted tart pan and dust with flour. Carefully transfer the dough to the pan. Press the dough into the sides of the pan, and then press the top of the rim of dough into the edge of the pan so it extends slightly above the rim.


Line shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Pre-bake until lightly browned (approximately 20-25 minutes) in a 400-degree oven. Cool to room temperature and remove pie weights
.
           









 
            
Gina Rodriguez
AAA 5 Diamond Chef

          
Chef Johan Denizot

           
When food is art
and art is food


           
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