Makes one 10-inch tart 1 *Basic Pie Crust or another basic pie or tart dough 3 very ripe Hachiya persimmons 1 egg 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon fresh nutmeg Pinch cinnamon Pinch salt 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Heat the oven to 425°F. Lightly butter a 10-inch round tart pan. Roll out the pie dough and press into the pan. Refrigerate until chilled - about half an hour. When chilled, remove from the fridge and brush lightly with beaten egg.
Slice persimmons into even slices or chunks; they will be very jelly-like, so you may just need to pull them apart with your hands and spread them in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with the sugar and spices. Dot the top with the chunks of butter.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until the fruit is slightly firm and the pastry is golden. Serve with vanilla ice cream or crème fraîche.
*Basic Pie Crust dough for three 9" crusts
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 2 tablespoons fine white sugar (optional) 1 cup chilled butter 1/2 cup chilled shortening 1/2-3/4 cup ice cold water
Prepare 3 large pieces of plastic wrap or wax paper by misting lightly with baking spray.
Mix the flour, salt and sugar, if using. Cut the butter into fine chunks with a knife. Shake into the bowl with the flour. Drop the shortening in by teaspoons. Using the tips of your fingers, quickly work the fat into the flour, pinching and squeezing and rolling each piece of butter lightly.
When most of the butter and shortening is no larger than a large pea or lima bean, stop. Some chunks will still be irregular, but it should mostly be all rubbed together. All fat should be coated with flour.
In drips and drops, pour in the water, stopping after the first half cup. Quickly with your hands try to draw the dough together into a ball. If big clumps still fall off or crumble, add water just until it comes together and you can pick the whole lump up in your hands. Do not mix it any more than this - just draw it together gently.
Separate into three pieces and gently press into thick disks. Wrap each in the prepared paper and put in the fridge for at least an hour, or in the freezer until chilled through.
To pre-bake, roll out a disk of dough between two sheets of waxed paper. Press into a greased pie dish. Trim off the edges and pinch close to the rim. Put back in the refrigerator or freezer until chilled, and heat the oven to 375°F. Take the pie shell out of the fridge and prick the bottom several times with a fork. Bake on the bottom oven rack for 18-20 minutes or until baked but not browned.
Dough can be well-wrapped and frozen until needed.