Our fireside lunch at Castello di Vicarello was rounded off with a lovely persimmon pannacotta. The next day, Roberto served us a honey pannacotta topped with cacao nibs. It seemed a ‘best of both world’s’ was in order, so here, honey pannacotta with persimmon…

The beauty of this recipe is that a ripe persimmon is like a ready-made sauce, just barely contained in it's skin. Add a few drops of lemon to the flesh of the peeled fruit, and the pannacotta topping is done – no cooking required.

But beware, there are two types of persimmon, the ‘apple’ type, and the ripe sort that here in Italy are called ‘kaki,’ (sometimes written ‘cachi’). They are easy to tell apart – the ripe ones are very soft to the touch, with thin skins, usually sold in a basket or tray of some sort to stop them from bursting. The ‘apple’ sort, are typically a little lighter in colour, more robust, and have a very different flavour, raspy and barely sweet, certainly an acquired taste. For this recipe, a very ripe persimmon is a must.


(Serves 2)

  • 125ml whole milk
  • 125ml double cream
  • 1 leaf of gelatin (2g)
  • 20ml honey
  • 1 very ripe persimmon
  • A few drops of lemon juice

Prepare the pannacotta the day before you wish to serve as it needs to set overnight in the fridge.

In a small bowl of cold water, soak the gelatin leaf, pushing it under the surface to fully submerge. Leave to soak for 5 minutes, until softened.

Meanwhile, heat the milk, cream, and honey in a small saucepan over a low heat.

Stir as the liquid simmers in order to ensure that the honey does not stick to the bottom, then remove from the heat just prior to boiling.

Add the gelatin leaf, (squeezing this gently free of excess water before you do so using your hands), and stir until completely dissolved.

Strain the cream evenly into two serving glasses using a fine sieve; leave to cool briefly; then cover with cling film and place in the fridge to set overnight. 

Once the pannacotta are fully set and you are ready to serve, make the persimmon topping by bursting the fruit open and scraping the flesh gently from the stringy centre using a fork. Add a drop of lemon juice to balance the sweetness, and spoon a layer on top of each dessert. That’s it – they’re ready to eat!