Persimmon and Chestnut Tender Biscotti

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These are not hard biscotti, but more cakelike. At her restaurant L’Etoile, Odessa Piper serves them with the Banon-style cheeses from Capriole farm at the corner of Indiana and Kentucky, where she thinks some of the greatest American cheeses come from, Banon-style cheeses are made from the first milk of the spring, and the wrapping leaves are chestnut, though dipped in Kentucky bourbon, not the marc that is used in France.

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 cup organic, sulphur-free, dried persimmons, chopped
  • 2 cups peeled, cooked chestnuts1 cup chopped, 1 cup left whole
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons toasted anise seeds, ground
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Banon-style goat cheeses wrapped in chestnut leaves
  • 8 ounces 15 -year-old single-cask bourbon whiske

Method

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Beat the butter in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment until creamy, about 5 minutes. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy. Then beat in the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Add the orange zest, persimmons, chopped chestnuts, vinegar, and bourbon. Turn the machine to low speed and add half the flour. While it is mixing, put the anise seeds, baking powder, salt, and 2 tablespoons of the flour in a little bowl and mix together; add to the dough. Add enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough that comes together but is still sticky. Add the rest of the flour, if necessary.

Turn the dough out onto a floured board, flatten it out, and spread the whole chestnuts over the surface. With floured hands, fold the dough over to incorporate and mix in the chestnuts. Roll the dough into a log, and put it on the cookie sheet.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the top of the roll is golden and springy. Take the roll out and let cool. Leave the oven on.

To serve, cut the Banon cheeses into wedges with the leaves still on and put on a large plate. Slice the biscotti roll into ½-inch-thick slices and warm the slices in the oven for a couple of minutes, then place some on each plate. Pour the bourbon into small glasses. The idea is to spread the cheese on the biscotti and eat them while sipping the old, single-cask bourbon.

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