Prosciutto is not bacon, BUT if you like that perfect combination of salty and sweet, then these prosciutto cups with persimmon purée and mascarpone vin santo cream are for you!
IMPORTANT: For those who have never worked with persimmons before than I HIGHLY recommend you read on about ripening this lovely fruit. It could mean the difference between sweet heavenly goodness or something—not so nice…
How do you know when persimmons are ripe?
That all depends on the type of persimmon. Usually they measure 1-3 inches in diameter having a yellow-orange color with red undertones and when ripe—the redder the better. Commercially and in general there are two kinds of persimmons—astringent and non-astringent.
Astringent varieties like the one I work with in this recipe, the “Hachiya”, require time to ripen before eating. When firm to the touch, they literally taste like cat fur! If only that were a joke. I’m serious…unless you want to feel like shaving your tongue, do not attempt eating a hard persimmon.
Non-astringent varieties, if you can get your hands on them, such as “Fuyu” and “Jiro”, can be soft or hard when ripe. Unlike the Hachiya, they are short and stout.
If there’s one thing I have learned from these persimmons—it’s patience. If left out at room temperature, these bad boys can take an awfully long time to ripen. And there are tricks to speed up the process.
To see if your persimmons are ripe, feel and gently squeeze an astringent variety, such as “Hachiya” and “Early Golden”. They should be very soft. You should almost fear bursting their skin open just by handling them. If you’re not convinced or need to use them within 5 days, then here’s how you move things along:
- Keep them indoors and out of the cold.
- Lay the persimmons flat in a closed brown paper bag, mixed with a few bananas. Bananas produce ethylene gas, which speeds up the ripening process. It also helps to leave them under sunlight to remove tannins.
- After ripening, store persimmons in the refrigerator—away from other fruit, and eat within three days.
Now go on and try this beautiful and equally delicious appetizer. I guarantee guests will rave!