Persimmons have always looked rather unappealing to me – bruised, overly ripe, and way too soft, as if they would burst and ooze at the slightest touch. Sometimes, their skins had black streaks which made them appear almost rotten. I could never understand why my Mom liked them so much. As a teenager, I vividly remember countless times when she would lovingly offer me some of its dark orange, almost gelatinous flesh cradled in her hands, and how I would rebuff her each time. Being the bratty teen that I was, I would crinkle my nose, make that “face” that signifies utter disgust and total disinterest, and walk away with my hands folded across my chest, without ever tasting it. She seemed almost disappointed that she couldn’t share her enjoyment of this “weird” fruit with me, yet, somehow, she also had a look of relief that I now assume meant, “Yippee, I get to eat all of this luscious fruit by myself.” She would always cut the persimmon in half and expertly take spoonfuls of fruit, leaving the peel almost completely intact, her hands sticky and dripping with orange-colored juice.
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I made my first galette a couple of weeks ago, and it has quickly become one of my favorite desserts. I love its simplicity and rustic quality, along with its versatility. Short on time this past Labor Day, I opted to make this quick “semi-homemade” Blackberry Galette. Instead of pastry dough, I used a sheet of ready-to-bake puff pastry. The light and flaky puff pastry encased a trio of ingredients – blackberries, mascarpone cheese, and orange marmalade. The tart blackberries made a nice contrast to the slightly sweet orange marmalade and rich mascarpone cheese. It was a simple dessert, yet very pretty and full of flavor. Served it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, this galette was a perfect end to a nice holiday dinner.
A galette is a French round, flat cake made made with pastry or yeast dough and topped with either a savory or sweet filling, such as fruit, jam, nuts, meat and cheese. It is quicker and simpler to make than a pie or tart. Its deliberately free-formed shape eliminates the need for a pie tin or tart pan. A galette only requires a bottom layer of dough, so there’s no crimping or latticework, often done to finish pies. The dough is simply rolled out, the filling placed in the center, and the excess pastry pulled toward the middle to hold everything in. It’s meant to be rustic and irregularly shaped, not at all fussy nor fancy.