It both amuses and embarrasses me when newly arrived visitors to Perth have a vastly superior knowledge of my State’s attractions than I do. It’s not hard mind you as I don’t really get out much, and when I do, I tend to keep to my local haunts. For example, I keep meaning to check out the farmers market in Kalamunda on the weekends but I usually end up at the one up the road from me. Sadly, as I touched on a couple of posts ago, spare time is becoming ever so scarce lately so long-ish drives often get ruled out.
Over the Easter holidays however, I found myself in unfamiliar terroir (I always wanted to use that word). My little girl has a Korean friend at school whose parents invited us to go to a persimmon farm to pick some fresh fruit and let the kids run around the orchard. I can’t recall a more random venue to visit for a play date but since I love persimmon, I figured why not. I wasn’t exactly sure where Bedfordale was but since it was still in the Perth metro area, I bundled my kids into the car and took off.
The persimmon farm (Waterwheel Orchard) is actually not too far from the old Pioneer World site so technically, I have been this way before albeit when I was a younger human being. It looks to be a very nice part of Perth so I don’t get why Armadale gets such a bad rap. I’m guessing the more urban parts attract the problems. As far as I could see, Bedfordale just had fresh air, lovely persimmons and adorable alpacas, which really made my day.
I returned home with a giant bag of persimmons (mainly crunchy) which cost me 15 dollars and about 10 in fuel. Considering they are sold for about a dollar a pop, I declared this outing a success. The only problem? I am the only person in our household that actually really likes persimmon. In fact, I don’t know too many people who rave about them. Perhaps like mangosteen and starfruit, they’re still a mystery fruit: no one’s quite sure how to eat them.
My tip is to eat and use persimmon like a pear. You can eat them unpeeled but I recommend peeling as the skin can be bitter. They’re lovely to use in cooking too but don’t expect a pronounced flavour in the resultant dish. It’s a very subtle tasting fruit and generally enjoyed on its own in Japan where their arrival heralds autumn and the start of winter.
As the weather here in Perth isn’t quite super cold yet, I decided to use some persimmon in a couple of cold breakfast recipes. This also gave me a chance to try So Good’s new Almond and Coconut Milk (sample courtesy of Sanitarium Foods). Firstly, I made a big bowl of bircher muesli with lots of chopped up persimmon and pear. As an accompanying beverage, I Thermomixed up some Persimmon and Saffron Lassi. Not a bad way to start an autumn day!
I was pleased to find that the Almond and Coconut Milk wasn’t overpowering and didn’t detract from the delicate flavour of persimmon, either in the Lassi or Bircher Muesli. I didn’t mind it even on its own and I’m not a huge fan of alternative milk! I desperately want to love nut and grain milk but most taste like water that’s had nuts and grained rinsed in it. The combination of almond and coconut was pretty good though and I’d use it again for some vegan recipes.
Here’s to getting out more often! :)
Persimmon & Pear Bircher Muesli
Place two cups of your favourite muesli blend in a large bowl. Chop one pear and two persimmons (peeled) into small pieces and add to bowl. Add two heaped tablespoon of plain yoghurt and a cup of Almond & Coconut Milk (or your preferred milk or apple/orange juice). Combine well, cover bowl and leave in fridge overnight. The next day, taste the muesli and add honey or maple syrup to sweeten if desired. Serve with a dollop of yoghurt.
Persimmon & Saffron Lassi
Chop up 4 peeled persimmons (150g) and place in Thermomix bowl (or food processor). Blitz on Speed 8 for a few seconds, then scraping down. Repeat a few times until persimmon is pureed. Add 80g of yoghurt and small pinch of saffron (if desired). Blitz on Speed 7 for 10 seconds until creamy. Add 200g of Almond & Coconut Milk (or preferred milk) and blitz again on Speed 7 for 10 seconds. Serve immediately or allow to chill in fridge, stirring well before serving.