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Friday
Dec052014

What To Do With Persimmons

It is persimmon season! I discovered persimmons a few years ago when I was offered a sample of Fuyu persimmons. I fell in love with that non-astringent Asian variety. Non-astringent persimmons can be eaten like an apple before they are fully ripened.Fuyu fruit on tree and slicedSince then, I have learned about the astringent varieties, including the American persimmons and some of the Asian varieties. Astringent persimmons must be fully ripe, baggy soft and practically falling off the trees before you eat them. They are wonderfully sweet at that point, but they are terribly bitter if eaten too soon. In my own garden I have two young persimmon trees. One is the Fuyu and another is the Tamopan, an astringent Asian kind.Persimmons stay on the tree longer than the leaves. My young Tamopan tree had two dozen fruit this year.

This beautiful Tamopan persimmon was not yet ripe when this picture was taken in early November.I love both kinds. Persimmons are known as the Fruit of the Gods for good reason.

But what to do with these persimmons? My fuyus get sliced and eaten raw. They are great in salads. Fuyus are also delicious roasted and served with ham, turkey, or roast pork. One can eat the astringent kind raw, but remember they must be fully ripe! Just slice the tops off and scoop out the sweet pulp, which will have a gelatinous consistency. Persimmons also may be pureed, then frozen to eat like a slushie. I love my Tamopans for cooking, however. One can find recipes for persimmon pies, pudding, jelly and cookies, and I have a recipe for persimmon bread that is a huge family favorite.

Here is that recipe: 

Persimmon Bread, will make two 9 inch loaves.

  • 3 1/2 cups sifted flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil or 1 cup melted unsalted butter, cooled to room temperature
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cups cooking sherry or your favorite libation: Cognac, bourbon, or whiskey all work well
  • 2 cups persimmon puree ( from about 4-5 squishy-soft Tamopan, Hachiya or other Asian persimmons. I just cut the tops off my Tamopans and scoop the pulp into my blender. You can use American persimmons, but it is a lot more work. The fruit is smaller than the Asian persimmons, so you will need more of them. Put clean, ripe fruit in something like a potato ricer, colander, tomato press or Foley mill and separate the pulp from the seeds and skin.)
  • 2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 2 cups raisins or diced dried fruit such as cranberries, dates, or apricots 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Butter 2 loaf pans. Line the bottoms with a piece of parchment paper or dust with flour and tap out any excess.

3. Sift the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.

4. Make a well in the center, then stir in the butter, eggs, liquor, persimmon puree, then the nuts and raisins.

5. Bake one hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 

Storage: Will keep for about a week at room temperature, if well-wrapped. May also be frozen.

My family likes this bread so much they start talking about it as soon as the fruit appears on the tree, way back in the summer, then they must wait months for the fruit to ripen. I think it is wonderful that the fruit is finally ripe just in time for Christmas baking!

You may also enjoy my other posts about persimmons:

Persimmons, the Fruit of the Gods

The Best of the Persimmon World

Digging a Hole

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Reader Comments (16)

Fuyu persimmon is my favorite fruit to eat fresh and the tree is especially beautiful to look at this time of year. Here in California with its large Japanese population, both kinds of persimmon are dried, oven or air. Look up HOSHIGAKI ..... there are many interesting pages about the process online from simple to complex and time-consuming. The websites from the small family-owned orchards are the best.

December 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJane Strong

We have a few American persimmon trees, but I've never tried to do anything with the fruit since having a mouth puckering experience when I was in high school! Mostly, they are treats for deer around here & we just let them have them.

December 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChristii

Mmm, that sounds good! I feel like I've had persimmon once; it's not something you often see at the grocery store. What a great thing to have fresh fruit growing right in your backyard, though! I'd love to have some fruit trees sometime. Do persimmon trees take a lot of work, such as spraying, like other fruit trees do?

December 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIndie

Hi, thank you for your comments! Indie, one thing I love about persimmon trees is their ease of care. They require no spraying at all! Deb

December 6, 2014 | Registered CommenterDeborah Elliott

Persimmons here are wild native trees, left for the critters who find them as soon as they are ready to eat.

December 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNell Jean

Yummy! Could finish off a punnet of Fuyu in one sitting. Just love this fruit!

December 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMark and Gaz

A very interesting bit of information, I am in search of new ideas for my garden so your timing is perfect. Based on your suggestion I am going to research this further...Thanks for the suggestion.

December 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie@Seattle Trekker

Yum! It looks really tasty. Believe it or not, I don't think I've ever tasted a Persimmon. I'll have to try one, or a recipe with it as an ingredient. I wonder what the zone range is for growing Persimmons?

December 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBeth @ PlantPostings

Ha, I never ate one, but your ideas on how to prepare them with meats made my taste buds come alive. I know I would like your bread too and may give that a try. I love pumpkin, peach, and banana breads, so I think this would taste great too. Thanks for the recipe.

December 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

Some day I hope to have enough persimmons to try your recipe. I have 2 trees, one a 'Fuyu' and one 'Hachiya.' Both were put in by the prior owner so they're less than 5 years old. In 4 years, I've only been able to save one ripened fruit, which went to my mother-in-law who loved persimmons. The critters have gotten the rest of the fruit well before it was ready to be eaten - this year it all went very early, perhaps because the drought has lent more desperation to the raccoons search for food. One day, I'll discover a way to protect the fruit long enough to get a decent harvest.

December 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

This is one of my fave fruits. I haven't grown it because I think it needs extra water here. The bread recipe looks amazing. I'll have to try it when it's persimmon season.

December 7, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercatmint

The fruit fell from my tree or more precisely was eaten by birds or wasps before I could get to them, mine are sweet but the tree isn't very happy where it is so we've only ever had a couple of fruit in a season. Recently a friend made a cheesecake with Persimmon topping which was delicious!

December 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Ohmygawd, ohmygawd, ohmygawd, I LOVE persimmons. I have two trees. One is not thriving and the other produces lots of fruits but something is beating me to them. Probably squirrels.

December 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Jones

If you can believe it, I have never eaten a persimmon. I have seen them in the stores, but they have always traveled a very long way to get here and look a little sad. It would be wonderful to try one from the garden. Your description and recipe sound wonderful.

December 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

I love persimmons too. We have a Gwang Yang non-astringent persimmon tree that has been bearing for a couple of years now. And I just planted an astringent type this fall, one called Saijo. If I have extra Fuyu types I like to slice them and dehydrate.

December 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDave @OurHappyAcres

I have never eaten a persimmon but they look luscious...and the bread sounds yummy!

December 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDonna@Gardens Eye View

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