November 29, 2016

Japanify: Miss Blanche (Fuyu Persimmon Kanten)

by Yoko Kumano


Feeling stuffed post-Thanksgiving? After a few days of leftovers drenched in butter, I found myself reaching for fruits of all kinds at my grocery store. It is the height of persimmon season and I’ve been eating at least one a day this month. To demarcate the period between one gluttonous holiday (Thanksgiving) and another (Christmas), I created this refreshing winter-friendly dessert called “Miss Blanche.”

To celebrate winter fruits, I incorporated yuzu juice (you can use fresh or bottled) and Fuyu persimmons into a kanten dessert that ended up reminding me of Shiro Kuramata’s Miss Blanche chair, hence the name of this recipe.

Miss Blanche

Serves 6

1 package (0.15 oz/4 g) of kanten (agar-agar) powder
1 Fuyu persimmon
1 tbsp fresh or bottled yuzu juice
3/4 cup water
2-1/2 tbsp sugar



1. Wash the persimmon, cut into quarters and peel the skin off of the fruit.


2. Slice each quarter into 1/4″ coins.


3. In a medium saucepan add water, agar agar, and sugar. Turn heat on medium-high and stir constantly.


4. As soon as the mixture bubbles at a low boil, turn off the heat.


5. Using a ladle, transfer the liquid mixture into a kanten dessert pan.



6. Add 3-4 persimmon coins into each compartment. If you don’t have the kanten dessert pan, drop the persimmons evenly throughout your dessert mold.



7. Wrap dessert pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.


8. After 6 hours, the kanten will look slightly milky.



9. Remove a square or cut into squares if you don’t have partitions in your dessert mold. Serve immediately out of the refrigerator.


I love how the mild citrus of the yuzu brings out the sweetness of the persimmon in this dessert. The cool texture of the kanten serves as a palate cleanser during this period between our two winter holidays.


Extra credit: This dessert is gluten-free and vegan-friendly!


  • Kayoko
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    What a fantastic plate!!! That last shot is so fashion-fwd. It reminds me of the new Kenzo x HM line.

  • yoko
    Posted December 1, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    There’s a new Kenzo x HM line?! You are so in the know!

  • Kayoko
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    Be sure to take home that Vogue with Michelle on the cover!

  • Tomine Shinya
    Posted February 23, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    I didn’t see where to add the yuzu juice in the recipe. Do you add it to the pot when cooking the kanten?

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