Persimmon season is largely past, but if you're lucky enough to have a few still on hand -- or clever enough to have dried some -- use them to brew up a traditional Korean fruit punch. Sujeonggwa is quite sweet with a kick of cinnamon and ginger, and is usually served with a garnish of pine nuts. In Korea, you'll see it most often at holidays and weddings. Try it for your New Year's Eve party, served hot or cold, for a delicious alternative to fatty desserts and boozy cocktails. Make a big batch: Sujeonggwa takes a while to prepare, and then goes fast.
This recipe makes four servings.
8 cups of water
1/2 cup of fresh organic ginger, peeled and sliced thin
8 cinnamon sticks, rinsed in water
1 cup of sugar
4 organic persimmons (dried or fresh) with the stems removed
About 15 pine nuts for garnish
Pour the water into a large pot and add the cinnamon sticks and ginger. Bring the pot to a boil, then lower the heat and cover the pot. Let it simmer for one hour. Lift out the ginger and cinnamon with a slotted spoon, or pour the punch through a strainer. Discard the ginger and cinnamon.
Add sugar to the pot and keep it simmering another ten minutes, stirring to help the sugar dissolve.
Strain the punch into a bowl or pitcher, and add the persimmons. Let the punch cool to room temperature, then put it in the fridge for at least two hours, preferably a full day. The persimmons will soften and steep.
Serve sujeonggwa in individual cups, with or without a slice of the softened persimmon. Garnish each cup with three or four pine nuts.
Got extra persimmons? Try this spicy persimmon salsa. Or brew up another holiday spiced punch with cranberries.