Persimmon mousse tart

I am very fortunate to have a coworker who grows his own tropical fruits and vegetables! Earlier this year, I got fresh passion fruits, while right now, I got fresh fuyu persimmons. Truthfully, I never really had a ton of persimmon desserts growing up. I usually would either eat them fresh from the tree in our backyard, or dried. I have made a ton of persimmon desserts in the past, so I had to think about one that I have not yet made. While technically I did make a persimmon tart years ago, I never wrote up a recipe, and I figured I would do a different take on it this time around, combining elements of both a tart and an entremet. I knew flavor-wise, I was going to combine the persimmon with Thai tea for that toasty, aromatic flavor, and almonds, just to echo that toastiness that will capture festive winter baking! I also opted to make this a gluten-free dessert, since using more almond flour in the tart base would guarantee more almond flavor as well!

For the components, we have an almond tart base, a Thai tea and Almond Inspiration panna cotta, persimmon mousse, persimmon gelee, a clear glaze, and glass persimmon chips. The idea was that it would be this super orange-forward dessert, since literally everything is orange. I wanted to make it so that you knew right away from looking at it what the flavor would be. Admittedly, the panna cotta and the gelee wound up looking quite similar to one another, so that was tricky to differentiate, but luckily, Thai tea has a very fragrant aroma, so that was how I was able to keep track of which orange insert was which for the assembly. With the chips, they are made by first poaching persimmon slices in simple syrup. And just to not waste the syrup, I added gelatin to that to create the clear glaze that enrobed the entire dessert with!

For the chips:
1 unripe fuyu persimmon
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
a pinch of salt

Shave the persimmon on the 2nd thinnest setting on a mandolin. In a pot, heat up the water, sugar, and salt and bring to a simmer. Once the sugar is dissolved, add in the shaved persimmon. Take off heat and allow the persimmon to sit in the syrup for 10 minutes. Drain out the persimmons, reserving the simple syrup(you’ll be using that for the glaze!). Arrange your persimmon slices on a lined sheet tray and bake at 200 degrees F for 2 hours. Store the cooled down chips in an airtight container so they stay nice and crunchy.

For the panna cotta:
2 tsp gelatin powder + 1/4 cup almond milk
1 packet Thai tea powder with milk and sugar
2oz Valrhona Almond Inspiration
1/2 cup almond milk
a pinch of salt

Mix gelatin with almond milk first. Then place everything into a pot and heat up together until everything is fully dissolved together. Cool down until just above room temperature, stirring occasionally so that nothing firms up prematurely. Wrap one side of a 5-inch ring mold with cling wrap and place the ring mold acetate side down. Spray with cooking spray. Pour in the panna cotta mixture and freeze until completely solid, at least 2 hours.

For the gelee:
1/3 cup persimmon puree*
1 tbsp agar agar
1/4 cup water

Bring everything to a simmer. Once the agar is fully dissolved into the puree, pour into a cling wrap-lined ring mold(following the instructions for the panna cotta layer on how to set up your ring mold), and freeze for at least 2 hours, or until frozen solid.

For the persimmon puree:
2 fuyu persimmons, seeded
1/4 cup granulated sugar*(omit if the persimmons are fully ripened)
1/4 cup water
a pinch of salt

Bring everything to a simmer for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree until combined. Cool down before using.

For the almond crunch disk:
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 stick unsalted butter
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Blitz together into a dough. Freeze for 10 minutes. Roll out on a tapioca flour-lined surface to about 1/8th an inch thickness. Cut out 6-inch rings. Bake the rings on a lined sheet tray at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. Cool down before using.

For the mousse:
1 tsp gelatin powder + 1 tbsp almond milk
1/4 cup almond milk
Remaining persimmon puree
2/3 cups heavy cream, whipped stiff

Mix gelatin into 1 tbsp almond milk. Melt that mixture into the rest of the almond milk, then add in, off heat, the persimmon puree. Mix until combined, then allow the mixture to cool down to just above room temperature. Fold in the heavy cream at this stage.

For assembly:
Line a 6-inch ring mold with cling wrap, following the same instructions for the panna cotta. Place down the persimmon gelee disk first. Then pour in about 1/2 of the mousse, making sure it gets into every corner of the mold and covers the gelee in an even layer. Then place in the panna cotta disk, then the rest of the mousse. Finally, place in the almond crunch disk. Freeze solid, at least 4 hours, before unmolding and finish with the glaze and the chips.

For the glaze:
Reserved simple syrup from the persimmon chips
2 tsp gelatin powder + 1 tbsp water

Heat everything together until dissolved and combined. Allow the glaze to cool down to 90 degrees F before using.

To glaze, place the frozen mousse cake on an elevated surface(I use a sheet tray and a ring mold usually). Pour the glaze over the cake, then return it to the freezer so that the glaze sets(about 5-6 minutes), before removing it from the glazing surface. Finish with persimmon chips on top.

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