Kaki Persimmon Clafoutis with Hazelnuts

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Some weeks ago it was the Chinese New Year. Although I was not able to celebrate the year of the goat/sheep with my family in China, I did follow some customs of Chinese tradition: clean the apartment completely before New Year’s eve, dress myself with something red on New Year’s day, put the fu (福, the character for happiness or luck) on the front door, organise a big Banquet to celebrate the new year and buy a lot of kaki persimmons and decorate the house with them. As my grandmother maintained this custom her lifelong, I also bought kilos of kaki persimmons on the market and placed them all over our apartment.

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

What? persimmon as decoration? Why? Probably now there are some question marks in your head. You did read correctly. I did not make a mistake with my writing either. 😉

Kaki persimmons (柿 shi) have been cultivated in China for more than a thousand years. Their main function is to be eaten as a fruit and they are known here in Germany since not very long time. But in the weeks before and during the Chinese New Year this beautiful fruit is also used as a popular decorative item.

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

But why kaki persimmon? There are still so many other fruits that are at least as beautiful as kaki persimmons! A good question! There is indeed a great explanation. Because in China the kaki persimmon symbolises good wishes for happiness. Therefore, the more kaki persimmons you place at home, the more luck you might have in the new year. All Chinese hope this. And I do too, of course! 😉

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

After the days of celebration for Chinese New Year are over, the kaki persimmons (as decoration) have turned nicely ripe and sweet. Then this is the best time to savour them. So, this beautiful talisman landed in my oven in the form of a delicious and really easy French dessert: Clafoutis. Is there a better way to preserve the happiness/luck than keeping it in ones belly? 😉

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

I wish you all the best of luck for your life in the year of the goat/sheep! 😀

Ingredients (6 servings):

4 kaki persimmons
1 tablespoon butter in room temperature
2 tablespoons sugar
50g chopped hazelnuts

For the dough:
100ml milk
50ml whipping cream
40g sugar
4 eggs in room temperature
1 packet bourbon vanilla sugar
60g flour
1 pinch of salt
½ tablespoon baking powder

In addition:
Baking pan, 24cm diameter
Icing sugar for dusting

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Peel the persimmons,  cut 3 persimmons into large cubes, one persimmon into slices. Butter the baking dish, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar.
  2. For the dough: Add the eggs with 40g sugar in a mixing bowl, beat with a hand mixer until bright in color and creamy (about 3 min.). Then add the remaining ingredients and continue to mix well. Let the dough rest for about 20 min.
  3. Fill 2/3 of the dough mixture into the baking pan and bake for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven, spread the persimmon cubes on the pre-baked dough and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Fill the rest of the dough mixture on top. Garnish with the persimmon slices. Spread the hazelnuts on the clafoutis. Bake in the oven until the surface is turning golden brown (about 25-30 min.) The clafoutis is ready when you prick the dough with a toothpick and the toothpick keeps clean when removed from the dough.
  4. Sprinkle the kaki clafoutis with a little icing sugar and serve while still warm. It tastes great with vanilla ice cream.
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