To make the dried persimmon skins, peel the fruit (ideally in one continuous strip) then quickly dehydrate in a food dehydrator for 8 hours at 130 degrees. (If using a traditional oven, bake at 200℉ until the edges begin to curl, about 2-3 hours.) Make more dried persimmon skins than needed and store in a pantry in an airtight container; marinate more as needed throughout the winter. When stored properly, dried persimmon skins can last for several months.
For the pickled persimmon skins, mix all ingredients in a small plastic container or zip lock bag, at least three hours prior to serving. May be prepared a day in advance and refrigerated.
To cook the bay scallops, prepare an ice bath. Rinse off and dry scallops, then arrange on a towel lined plate. Combine sugar and salt in a small bowl. Dust scallops on all sides and set aside for five minutes. Meanwhile, heat a small cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Rinse the scallops with ice water and immediately pat dry. Film the pan with clarified butter. Quickly sear scallops on both sides until caramelized and shock in ice bath. Pat dry and reserve.
When ready to serve, divide the crème fraiche onto 12 spoons. Top each with one of the scallops and garnish with caviar, a slice of pickled persimmon skin, pea tendrils and a drop of fresh lemon juice.
*We prefer Martha’s Vineyard bay scallops, but the season for these gems in unfortunately short. IQF true bay scallops are a good substitute and available from the East Coast.