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.Since 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.
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: