Persimmon, Whipped Goat Cheese, and Hazelnut Parfaits

These eye-catching parfaits are layered with chopped ripe persimmons, fluffy goat cheese, and coconut-oil-and-cardamom-glazed hazelnuts.

Persimmon, Whipped Goat Cheese, and Hazelnut Parfaits
Persimmon, Whipped Goat Cheese, and Hazelnut Parfaits. Photo:

Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
45 mins

These parfaits from cookbook author Louisa Shafia make the most of persimmons. The winter fruit are tossed with lime juice and sugar; layered with fluffy, honey-sweetened whipped goat cheese and crunchy cardamom-glazed hazelnuts; and topped with fresh mint and dried rose petals. Hachiya persimmons, oblong in shape, are astringent when firm and must soften completely before the flesh turns sweet. Fuyu persimmons have a round, squatty shape and can be eaten while still crisp. For this recipe, if you can’t find Hachiya persimmons, use finely chopped Fuyu persimmons in their place. Look for blanched hazelnuts that already have the paperlike outer skins removed. Keep extra hazelnut crunch on hand and use in place of granola, or sprinkle over salads, yogurt, and roasted sweet potatoes.


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

  • 1 cup blanched hazelnuts, coarsely chopped

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided

  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 2 1/2 pounds ripe Hachiya persimmons (about 8 persimmons), peeled and coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)

  • 1 (4-ounce) goat cheese log, at room temperature

  • 2 tablespoons honey, plus more for drizzling

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • Pomegranate arils, dried culinary rose petals, and torn fresh tender mint leaves, for garnish (optional)


  1. Heat coconut oil in a medium-size heavy-bottomed skillet over medium. Add hazelnuts, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring constantly, until nuts smell toasty and are just starting to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cardamom and cinnamon. Transfer mixture to a plate; let cool completely, about 10 minutes.

  2. Stir together persimmons, lime juice, and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl; set aside. Beat goat cheese, honey, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium speed until lightly whipped, about 30 seconds. With mixer running on medium speed, gradually pour in cream, beating until mixture forms soft peaks, 2 to 3 minutes.

  3. Spoon 1/4 cup goat cheese mixture into each of 8 (12-ounce) cups or parfait glasses; top each with about 1 tablespoon hazelnut mixture and 1/4 cup persimmon mixture. Repeat layers once with remaining goat cheese mixture, hazelnut mixture, and persimmon mixture. Drizzle parfaits with honey, and garnish as desired.

Make Ahead

Hazelnut crunch can be made up to 5 days in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

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