- 4-6 Ripe Persimmons
- 2 large Organic Naval Oranges, peeled and diced
- Peels from 2 large Organic Naval Oranges, diced
- 1 cup Walnut Pieces (if whole, break them up a bit before using)
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Peel the oranges, and dice the orange peels fully.
- Add the orange peels and coconut oil to a pan and cook on medium-low, covered. Stir regularly; at least once every 10 minutes.
- Carefully section and slice the oranges, losing as little juice as possible, and add them to the pot.
- While the orange peels are cooking away, carefully slice off the top of the persimmons and scoop the fruit out from inside, adding that to the orange peel pot (you can taste a little as well...).
- After 60 minutes of cook time, add the walnuts.
- At this point, the mixture should be thick and dark, and completely mixed. There should be an occasional orange peel that sticks out with browning on it, indicating that it is nicely caramelized.
- About 15 minutes before stuffing the persimmons add the vanilla and spices.
- To shorten cook time, it is possible to cook on a higher temperature if you add water and let it boil off. This will not give the same sort of complex, caramelized flavor as a longer cooler cook time, but will allow for a more condensed time frame. If you're going to shorten the cook time, you may want to add some sweetener (like raw honey) in order to help reduce the impact of the not fully broken down citric acid.
- Make certain to continue to stir regularly, regardless of the temperature and cook time.
UPC’s Walnut Caramelized Orange Peel Stuffed Persimmon
I am immensely satisfied with how these turned out! My wife and I planned for a highly social weekend, with a few nights out, followed by a brunch at our place on Sunday. We knew that it would be pretty exhausting, which it was, but we also haven’t hosted a party in a while, and we were way overdue on some social time! In preparation for the brunch, I picked up some persimmons along with some of the other things that I normally pick up. I didn’t have anything in particular in mind for them, but I was bubbling away at some ideas. Some of the ideas that I was cooking away at would have worked better with a fully ripe persimmon, while others would work better with a more juvenile persimmon – and since I was still several days away from actually cooking up my big brunch (which ended up being 3 courses!) I wasn’t sure whether the persimmons I was picking out would be fully ripe then or not. So I let my ideas simmer until Sunday morning, and tested the Persimmon to see how they would be.
It turned out that the persimmons were all fully ripe, soft, sweet, and delicious! So, that certainly narrowed down my available options! I looked around the kitchen to see which of my ripe-persimmon ideas I would proceed with, and noticed that I did have some organic oranges handy. I only use organic oranges when I am making the caramelized orange peel. To be more accurate, I pretty much only buy organic produce; but it’s particularly important when you’re focused on the peel. Since an orange peel is dimpled, wrinkled, and generally more challenging to clean than something smooth like an apple (there are other reasons to only buy organic apples; like the fact that GMO apples hit the market last year!), I recommend only using organic oranges because you just can’t be certain if you cleaned out all of the pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides that are sprayed all over the oranges during growing and transport. And you’re going to eat that peel.
So, I have organic oranges, and ripe persimmon. That decides it!
Despite being set in my course, it was still a brand new recipe. I wasn’t entirely certain how it would turn out, since I hadn’t done anything like this before. I’ve had a few great experiences with the Caramelized Orange: the Caramelized Orange Peel Zucchini Boats and the Caramelized Orange Peel Chicken Stew were both huge successes! But combining it with the walnuts and using it as a “stuffed” anything like this was an entirely new application! Also, in both the Zucchini Boats and the Chicken Stew the caramelized orange peel was a part of a much larger recipe, where there were other flavors and other fillers. In this recipe, the orange peel would constitute almost the entire flavor, and most of the bulk of the recipe. Needless to say, I was excited by the prospect of putting my Caramelized Orange Peels to the test as the key player in this recipe – there would be no flavors or textures to hide behind.
The key to the success of this recipe, as you’ll notice in the Recipe Notes below, is making sure the orange peels actually fully caramelize. In order to do that effectively, you’ll have to cook these for a fairly long time, which requires significant lead time in making them. Orange peel is a dense, complex food, and it takes quite a while to break down. Give it that time, though, and the flavor is quite rewarding – rich, complex, and even a little bit sweet.
All told, this recipe was every bit as good as I had hoped, if not better!