It’s been a really long time since I’ve had a culinary fail like today. It’s been insightful, so I thought I would share it 🙂
My plan was to make a raw persimmon pie. I had never worked with persimmons before so it was an experiment. I am confident in the kitchen and don’t usually feel the need to look things up before concocting a new recipe. So here I was with my freshly bought persimmons, ready to make a delicious pie. I had the crust all ready to go and it just needed to be filled.
I cut up my persimmons without even thinking of tasting them put them in the blender with all the other ingredients and start blending. At first this beautiful creamy mixture starts to happen and within a blink of an eye the whole thing started separating and becoming grainy. I stop the blender worrying I had over processed everything and that the creaminess of the coconut wasn’t blending well with the sweetness of the persimmon. I taste it. Shit. The whole thing was ruined. It tasted chalky. My mouth became super dry and the whole inside of my mouth was retracting kinda like when eating something way too sour? There was no saving this one. The molecular compounds had been changed and there was no going back.
If you’ve never made a raw pie before, you might not notice what is wrong with the above picture. To create a nice creamy raw pie, the contents of the bowl needed to be liquid and well, creamy. Liquid and creamy enough so that I could just pour it into the pie crust, put it in the fridge to set for a couple hours and have a beautiful end result. This stuff there was lumpy and the liquids were separating from the solids. I was so bummed. I intended to bring this to a party we were going to and I had failed my very first persimmon pie 😦 Usually when I screw up something in the kitchen, I find a way to salvage it. This time I was just looking at the contents of this bowl, defeated. The flavor was okay, but the texture was horrible. I hate wasting food, so instead of tossing this in the garbage, I measured it out into single cup servings, put them in ziploc bags and threw them in the freezer for hopeful future use.
In the meantime I refused to stay defeated. I had this amazingly beautiful pie crust that was waiting to be filled and we had a party to get to. So I started over. I had a few Hachiya Persimmons left and since I thought what had gone wrong was something to do with the combination of the coconut and the fruit, I had planned on doing a different technique. While cutting the fruit, I ended up throwing a piece in my mouth. What the f$*#??? This fruit tasted horrible!!!! The way it made my mouth feel was just WRONG. I thought it was the peel, so I peeled it. But no, it still tasted bad. Dang. It’s not my technique, it’s the fruit. Good to know.
I still have a party to go to and a dish to bring. I have a few Fuyu persimmons a some butternut squash. I know the Fuyu taste great because I have been eating them all week. I had been saving the Hachiya especially for this pie. So I start my pie over with the Fuyu and the butternut squash.
It tasted great 🙂
Here is what I’ve learned:
- Hachiya Persimmons need to be SUPER ripe, to the point of looking rotten in order to taste good. They don’t just taste not ripe before that, but they are pretty much inedible in my opinion.
- When using a new ingredient, it’s good to do a little research, no matter the level of confidence in the kitchen.
- Don’t be defeated. Had I not chosen to start again, I had kept on thinking that it was the way I had processed the ingredients that had screwed up my pie, not the ingredients themselves. And that would have bruised my ego enough to not attempt another pie for a while.
- I actually have more time than I think since I was able to screw up and start over and still make it to the party dressed with all my kids in tow.