Medlar & Roasted Persimmon
Smashed medlar fruit, goat cheese, roasted persimmon & mushroom medley (oyster, shiitake, baby bella), walnuts, kale with lemon juice
So, admittedly, before we made this pizza, we had never used (nor heard of) medlar fruit, so it probably merits a bit of explaining. Nicknamed by Chaucer the “open arse” because of its appearance, it was often compared in literature to prostitution, because it is rotten before it is ripe. That is, it has to be “bletted” before it can be eaten, basically letting it ripen until it is mushy and looks like it has gone bad.
It sounds gross, but the results are pretty delicious. Once you are able to scoop out the insides, they are sweet but mild, and make a really great base for a pizza. If you can’t find medlar at your local farmer’s market (don't feel bad, I haven't seen it again since), I recommend using something like a fig paste as a substitute.
Ingredients: 1 ball of dough flour for dusting olive oil salt & pepper 4-5 medlar 3 fuyu persimmons (this is the non-astringent type, so you can still get firm slices without having to blet them), peeled, hulled & sliced into wedges 1 cup shredded kale 1 cup mixed wild mushrooms (we used shiitake, oyster & baby bella), roughly chopped 1 tablespoon lemon juice ½ log goat cheese ½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
Once you have wrapped your head around this strange fruit, you can preheat your oven to 350° F. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper. Toss the persimmons and the mushrooms (separately) in about a teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt each, and lay them out on the two baking sheets.
Roast the mushrooms for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Roast the persimmons for about 15 minutes on each side, turning over halfway through. Fuyu persimmons typically have a pretty mild flavor, but when you roast them, they get slightly caramelized and the sweet flavor becomes much more concentrated and delicious.
When you are finished roasting, increase the oven temperature to 550° F. While you’re waiting, you can toss the kale with the lemon juice and begin to prepare your dough using the instructions on the right.
When your oven is hot and you’ve baked your dough for a minute, take it out and brush it lightly with olive oil. Then take your smashed medlar (make sure the pits are removed and it has a fairly even consistency) and spread it out on the dough.
Next, add the goat cheese, followed by the mushrooms, kale, persimmons and walnuts. Pop it back in the oven and bake until the crust is a nice golden brown. When it’s ready, impress your friends with some Chaucer quotes and enjoy!