The many tastes of the season here in Southern California come together in this simple yet satisfyingly complex dessert, the Acorn + Persimmon Tart. The most time consuming part is to process the acorns which are abundant this time of year. My preferred method is to cold-leach them, which retains flavor and nutrients, however it can take several days to do this. Processing acorns is an entire post in itself, but can be found repetitiously online from other sources.
For this recipe, I started out with cold-leached acorns from the local mountains that were ground to a fine flour using a high speed blender. Persimmons were once a common tree planted in yards of older neighborhoods that tend to produce copious amounts of fruits. Not everyone is a fan of persimmons so it only takes a little bit of asking around to glean some fruits. Heck, you might even make some new friends in the area.
For quite some time during my many years of fascination with health food, I obsessed over raw dairy-free desserts. The concept that an indulgence can actually be good for you was mind-blowing. Every week I would create pies, cakes, cookies, ice cream, etc from whole, nutritious ingredients for myself and my kids, and whoever I could cajole into trying them. They were always surprised that for one, they were dairy-free, and two, they were actually good for you despite tasting so sinfully delicious.
Persimmons in my house don’t usually get past my snacking habits, but inspired by my new stash of acorn flour, a bag full of persimmons, some pomegranates from the yard, and a pint of honey just harvested a few days before, I was set on actually making a presentable dessert. This recipe is incredibly simple with few ingredients, most which can be sourced locally or foraged. Except cashews. I still have yet to find a suitable replacement for these, and my pine nut stash is nearly gone.
Acorn + Persimmon Tart
1 cup cold-leached acorn flour
1/2 cup dates, pitted
Pinch of sea salt
1 cup cashews, soaked in water for 1-2 hours, drained (or sub pine nuts for all locally sourced ingredients)
1 persimmon cubed
- Combine the crust ingredients into a food processor and process until it begins to stick together creating a dough. Add a few teaspoons of water if necessary.
- Place into a tart pan and press to form a solid crust.
- Combine the filling ingredients and blend completely until smooth in a high speed blender.
- Pour the filling into the tart crust and place into the refrigerator for a few hours to set.
- Slice a persimmon thinly and evenly using a mandolin and arrange on the tart, using the filling to secure the slices.
- Garnish with pomegranate arils and drizzle with honey.