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.