My first instinct when an occasion calls for dessert is to think of pies, cakes, puddings, and other whole confections, which are divided up into servings when it’s time to eat. Individual desserts make sense for pastry chefs preparing goodies for special occasions, but seem fussy and challenging to me at home.
Until one like this comes along, and I remember how much I love the personal touch of plated portioned treats. Practically speaking, there’s also the ease of serving without a care as to cutting, slicing, dividing, and transferring a dessert from its home base to a guest’s plate or bowl.This recipe caught my eye on Saveur’s website, and on seeing how streamlined the ingredients list is, my immediate thought was: Persimmon Perfection! Cherries only show up here for a very brief time. and it’s much later in the year. But this dessert is ripe (pardon the fruity pun) for variations, and since persimmons are here now but not forever, and since I adore them, that’s where I went with this gem.You need individual ovenproof bowls, such as white ceramic ramekins available in kitchen equipment stores and from online retailers; or heatproof glass such as Pyrex-type bowls, available in supermarkets and department stores.
The original recipe suggests four ramekins, and each is quite full in that amount. Next time I will make it in six ramekins, with a smaller serving for each person of the pleasing but rich ricotta custard, making room extra room for its fabulous persimmony accompaniment.
For the lovely version with orange blossom cherry sauce on Saveur, click HERE.
- Ricotta Custards:
- Unsalted butter, for greasing
- 1 1⁄2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 egg
- Persimmon-Ginger Compote
- 1¾ cups bite-sized chunks of peeled fresh fuyu persimmon
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped candied ginger (optional)
- Ricotta Custards:
- Heat the oven to 400°.
- Lightly grease four 4-oz. ramekins (or six 4-oz. ramekins) with butter and place on a baking sheet.
- Whisk ricotta, honey, zest, and egg in a bowl until smooth.
- Divide ricotta mixture among ramekins and smooth the tops with a spatula.
- Bake until lightly puffed and golden brown on top, 20-30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool slightly to serve warm, or completely to serve at room temperature.
- Persimmon-Ginger Compote:
- Bring the persimmon chunks, sugar, orange juice, and candied ginger to a boil in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until persimmons are very tender, shiny; and until the liquid reduces to a syrup, 20-25 minutes.
- Remove from heat; let cool slightly.
- Transfer ramekins to serving plates; spoon persimmons and syrup over top. and serve.