Servings: Makes about 1½ quarts of ice cream.
1¼ cups jaggery
5 tablespoons water
9 large egg yolks
2½ cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ cup walnuts
2 Fuyu persimmons
Chef's note: Jaggery is unrefined sugar from South Asia. It tastes like rough molasses and smells like agricole rum. You find it in Indian and Pakistani stores—it comes in different shape blocks and a range of color. I usually like the darkest and strongest smelling ones.
1. To make the jaggery syrup, bring the jaggery and water to a full boil. Cook over medium-high heat until the jaggery dissolves completely and thickens up a little bit, and you see evenly sized bubbles all over the surface. Let cool slightly. Most of the syrup will be added to the ice cream, but reserve a few tablespoons for drizzling when you serve it.
2. Whisk the egg yolks until they're smooth.
3. Pour the cream into a bowl and get your straining setup ready, because you're going to need to move quickly at the end of this next part. You'll need a rubber spatula and a fine-mesh strainer set over the bowl of ice cream.
4. In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat up the milk, sugar, and ½ teaspoon salt to almost a simmer.
5. Whisk a ladleful of the milk and sugar mixture into the yolks to temper them and then whisk the tempered yolks back into the rest of the milk and sugar mixture. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom, until the liquid thickens slightly. Look for steam rising to the surface; this happens in a couple of minutes, or when the liquid reaches 170º F. Add a ladleful or two of custard to the jaggery syrup to temper. Stir well, then pour the tempered jaggery mixture back into the custard.
6. Give it a stir and then strain the custard directly into the cream. Stir, then refrigerate until completely cold, at least 2 hours. Freeze the ice cream according to the directions on your machine.
7. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast them until they are a shade darker, about 8 minutes. Once they are cool, taste to make sure they are crunchy. If not, pop them back in the oven for a little longer. Rub off the skins with a towel and toss them with a small amount of olive oil and a pretty good sprinkle of salt. Peel the persimmons and cut them into wedges. Scoop the ice cream into bowls. Set a few persimmons wedges next to the ice cream scoops, sprinkle with walnuts, and drizzle with the reserved jaggery syrup.