Here’s some news you’ll find either inspiring or paralyzing: backyard persimmons are in season now here in south Louisiana. Has your neighbor brought you a bag yet?
If you’re used to working with Hachiya persimmons (the ones commonly found around our parts), then you know you have to wait for them to seriously ripen before cooking with them. So ripe they feel like they’re ready for the compost heap. If you don’t, you’re facing fruit that’s full of acerbic tang.
Like the other main variety consumed in the U.S., the Fuyu, Hachiya persimmons are native to Asia. Persimmons have been grown in this country for centuries. Thomas Jefferson used them to make Persimmon Beer.
One of the easiest ways to extract the flesh from the fruit, is to remove the stem on top, and use a spoon to scoop out the gelatinous flesh inside, avoiding the skin. Messy, yes, but worth it.
My two favorite ways to use persimmons are in this scrumptious King Arthur Flour Pear and Ginger Quick Bread, pictured here. It calls for pear pulp but can easily be adapted to fall persimmons and summer peaches.
I also love these yummy, cake-like Persimmon Cookies with Orange Glaze by blogger Two Peas and Their Pod. The recipe calls for cloves and nutmeg, but I just used the Gingerbread Spice Blend from our phenomenal Red Stick Spice Co. (you can mail order) instead. It’s a combination of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, nutmeg and cardamom, and it SINGS with persimmon’s sweet, floral flavor.
Two other great ideas from folks in my world include dropping persimmon pulp into ice cube trays and freezing it for smoothies later; and blending the pulp with wintry baking spices, warming it, and drizzling it over ice cream. Sounds so good!
Don’t run from persimmons this fall.