Updated: Jan 20, 2022
This weeks pie is from a state that holds a lot of sentimental value for me. After spending almost my entire childhood, and all of my college years in California, my husband and I, young 20 something year olds, picked up and moved East. He had joined the Navy after graduating college and we had orders to Charleston, SOUTH CAROLINA. We packed our Dodge Neon with the little we owned, plus a cat. Grabbed a map, yes an actual map,( we didn’t have Siri) and navigated our way into the unknown. Two young kids without a clue. Come join me for a slice of South Carolina’s Persimmon Squash Pie and find out what life in the Lowcountry was like for me.
We arrived late in the dark in a new city, in the middle of a HURRICANE, perhaps a metaphor for for what life had been like or would be like over the next year and a half. Did I mention I was expecting our first child as well? Everything was different. New state, new home, new careers, and we were going to be new parents. What’s crazy is we weren’t afraid of any of it. The 40 something year old me, today, is so stressed for these kids. Perhaps, that’s the bliss of being young and dumb. We sort of just jumped into things. Life in Charleston wasn’t easy, but it was one of the most joyous times in my life. Our first daughter was born there. We brought her home from the hospital, stared at her while we ate a pizza, and said, ‘now what?’ We had so much less then, money, time, energy, but we were so happy. Life was crazy, but simple.
I quickly fell in love with Charleston. The historic southern architecture and cobblestone streets were a setting out of a Nicholas Sparks novel. We didn’t live there long, but it was notable time in my life. We met best friends that we would come full circle with over a 20 year span. And for the first time I realized there was a whole world outside of California that I was ready to explore.
Caramel and toffee is going on the warm pie- yum!
My first introduction to a persimmon was sadly only a few years ago. I was teaching and one of my students brought me a bag full. I actually had to ask his mother how to eat them. When perfectly ripe, this unique fruit is bursting with sweet flavor. Even better she would bring me persimmon bread as a special treat. I have been patiently waiting for persimmons to be in season so I could make Taste of Home Persimmon Squash Pie. This pie is a bit time consuming, but worth the end result. I roasted my squash the night before so I would have one less step when it was time to make the pie. The nutty sweetness of the squash and the honey flavor of the persimmon mesh well together. After pulling it out of the oven, I poured warm caramel sauce over the hot pie. If that wasn’t enough, toffee bits and pecans were sprinkled over the pool of caramel. I couldn’t wait for it to cool down. This pie is rich. The colors, the flavors, the taste, epitomizes all things Fall. Grab your persimmons while they are in season and think about adding them into your pies, cakes, and breads, or eat them all on their own.
*I could smooth that caramel all day ;)
*Here we are with our little one in South Carolina