Magazine article Sunset

Give Gifts of the Season

Magazine article Sunset

Give Gifts of the Season

Article excerpt

Turn shiny persimmons, glossy chestnuts, and exotic mushrooms into arrangements to admire first and eat later

THREE GREAT EDIBLES of fall--Fuyu persimmons, chestnuts, and wild and cultivated mushrooms--make elegant, original gifts when presented in handsome containers with lavish bows. Not only are they delightful to look at, but if you include some simple instructions for cooking, the presentations can be converted to good eating.

PERSIMMON FIXINGS

Present flat-bottomed, firm Fuyu-type persimmons and a few almonds in the shell in an attractive shallow baking dish. Include a bag of homemade streusel mix (directions follow). Instruct the recipient to refrigerate the mix while enjoying the beauty of the fall arrangement.

The fruit can be eaten anytime, but when it begins to soften (in 1 to 2 weeks), it's time to slice it into the baking dish, top with the streusel, and bake persimmon crisp for breakfast or dessert.

Persimmon Crisp

Thinly slice enough Fuyu-type persimmons into 1- to 1 1/2-quart baking dish to fill the dish to the rim. (If you have more than 4 cups fruit, mix in sugar to taste.) Squeeze streusel topping (recipe follows) to form lumps and scatter over fruit. Bake in a 375 |degrees~ oven until topping is well browned, 45 to 50 minutes. Serve hot or cool; scoop into bowls and top with eggnog or sweetened softly whipped cream.

Streusel topping. Mix 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg. With your fingers or a pastry cutter, rub or cut 6 tablespoons firm butter or margarine into flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/3 cup chopped almonds or walnuts. Seal in a plastic bag; store in refrigerator up to 1 month.

CHESTNUTS AND MORE

Package chestnuts, a bottle of madeira (malmsey, dry or sweet), and perhaps a chestnut knife or other short-bladed knife in a good-looking shallow pan. …

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