Our favorite new way to serve Fuyu persimmons (the ones that look like tomatoes) is in this juicy, spicy pie, which accents their delicate fruitiness with cinnamon and lemon. For the best flavor, let the persimmons ripen at room temperature until they're bright orange and have a slight give; this may take as long as a week. You'll need an old-fashioned (but very useful) jelly roll pan. Not to be confused with a rimmed baking sheet, a jelly roll pan is only 1 in. deep and 10 by 15 in. across the inner surface, a good size for baking cookies and toasting nuts too. You'll also need an oval-shaped cookie cutter or small knife.
Flour for rolling dough
2 pkg. refrigerated pie pastry* (each 14 to 16 oz. and for a double-crust 9-in. pie), at room temperature; or 2 batches cold Best Basic Pie Crust Dough (sunset.com)
Zest of 2 lemons
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup cornstarch
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
5 pounds firm-ripe, bright-orange Fuyu persimmons, peeled and sliced into 1/3-in.-thick wedges (to make 2 1/2 qts.)
2 tablespoons coarse sparkling sugar
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 375° with rack on bottom rung. On a lightly floured board, stack 2 pastry disks (enough for a 2-crust pie) and roll into a 13-by 18-in. rectangle, applying a little more pressure at edges to even out corners. Fit pastry into a 10- by 15-in. jelly roll pan*, filling corners; don't trim edges. Chill. Reflour board, stack remaining pastry disks, and roll into a 12- by 17-in. rectangle. Sprinkle a large flat baking sheet with flour, set pastry on baking sheet, and chill.
In a large bowl, combine lemon zest and juice, cornstarch, granulated and brown sugars, and cinnamon. Add persimmons and stir to coat. Pour into pastry-lined pan.
Over the center of flat pastry, cut several rows of decorative slits, using an oval 1 1/2- by 2-in. cookie cutter* turned on a diagonal, or a small knife. Carefully transfer pastry over persimmons. Pinch edges of top and bottom crusts together to seal, tucking under extra pastry. Crimp edges just inside pan rim. Lightly brush pastry with water, then sprinkle with sparkling sugar.
Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling in center of pie through slits, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool on a rack at least 2 hours.
*Pillsbury refrigerated pastry works well. We like Nordic Ware's sturdy aluminum jelly roll pan ($18; nordicware.com), which has a rolled steel rim to help prevent warping. Find Ateco 9-piece oval cutter set at amazon.com.
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