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Persimmon and Squash Autumn Slice

My children and I absolutely LOVE sharon fruit (aka persimmon). Recently, as I bit into a particularly ripe and delicious one I experienced what can only be described as a Proustian memory - the same taste, smell and texture shelved in a box decades old; the home I shared with my parents, sisters and brother; the way the sunset always cast a luminous orange glow across the red carpet (yes, it was hideous!) in the living room. It is distant yet close - like the family I now see so rarely: logistically distant but always in my heart...

Persimmon and Squash Autumn Slice


I used leftover cold roast Red Kuri Squash - which has a distinctively delicate chestnut-like flavour, because that's what I happened to have hanging around in my fridge (I even included the skin - extra finre right?). However, feel free to use butternut squash or a similar variety but avoid boiling it which incorporates too much water and dilutes the flavour.


Persimmon and Squash Autumn Slice
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free

Makes 5 slices


Ingredients:

Crust:
1/2 cup (75g) raw unsalted shelled pistachio nuts
2 soft unsweetened dates (25g after stones removed)
1/2 tbsp coconut oil
pinch sea salt
1-2 tbsp water if needed

Top:
1 (125g) ripe medium persimmon, plus a few extra slices for garnish
1/2 cup (65g) leftover roast or steamed squash, cooled
1/4 cup (40g) raw unsalted cashew nuts, soaked for 5hrs then drained
2 tbsp lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch turmeric powder
crushed pistachios for garnish

Instructions:
1.  Line a rectangular tupperware container or small cake tin with cling film (mine was approx 17x12cm).
2. In a food processor combine all crust ingredients except water and process until it starts to clump together to form a dough when pressed. Add water, a small amount at a time if needed.
3. Press base mix evenly into the lined container and place in freezer to set.
4. In a clean food processor combine all ingredients for the top layer except the slices of persimmon and crushed pistachios for garnish. Scrape down the sides as necessary and process until smooth and creamy.
5. Spread top layer smoothly over the base. Garnish with persimmon slices and crushed pistachios before returning to freezer for 2-3 hours or until set but not frozen solid.
6. Remove from container and slice with a sharp knife. Eat immediately or store in fridge. Alternatively freeze in individual slices and defrost for a few minutes before serving



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