Persimmon – Interesting Fruit
It may seem weird that I live in the Pacific Northwest and, to my knowledge, had never tried a persimmon – especially since they grow right here in my valley.
From what I can determine the cause is because there aren’t persimmon farmers in the area. The persimmon trees are more like our fruit trees – one offs in the backyard. Once I did go hunting for persimmons I did find them in the local food co-operative so I guess I just hadn’t been paying attention before.
The truth is, I was at a meeting and another participant brought a big brown bag of persimmons to share. He said his trees were overflowing and he thought we might like some. I took some to play with.
New to Persimmon?
First, the nutrition facts: Persimmons are high in beta carotine and minerals such as sodium, magnesium, calcium and iron, and studies have found that they also contain twice as much dietary fiber per 100g as apples, plus more of the phenolic compounds thought to ward off heart disease.
Second, there’s actually two types of persimmons and the difference is whether you eat them when they are crisp and firm or soft and mushy.
I discovered these persimmons are fuyu which are better when they are very soft. The harder they are the more bitter they are . . . we are talking mouth puckering bitter! But once fully ripe, almost on the verge of seeming rotten, the inside is a jelly like delight. In fact, we enjoyed just scooping the flesh out and using it like jam and in desserts. For this persimmon pudding recipe I left the persimmons sitting on the kitchen counter for two weeks.
As I played with the persimmons I did find that slightly ripe (not to the jelly stage) was similar to an apple. The skin is edible so don’t waste time peeling the persimmon. I cut it and added the persimmons to salads and even baked slices in a pie. The persimmon is very versatile and I was pleasantly surprised with the recipes.
The family favorite recipe was persimmon pudding so I’m sharing that here. Enjoy this fun fruit!
- 2-3 very soft persimmons
- 3 Tablespoons honey
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 cup coconut cream
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Slice persimmons in half. Use a spoon and scoop out the seeds. Place the seeded fruit into a blender and puree. One cup is about right for this recipe. Add honey and sea salt. Blend until smooth.
- Using a mixer on high speed, whip the coconut cream for 3-5 minutes until it becomes fluffy, light, soft peaks. Add maple syrup and vanilla. Blend until smooth.
- Layer the persimmon puree and whipped coconut cream in serving bowls and stir just to slightly mix keeping layers visually separate. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
*Coconut cream note – if you can’t find coconut cream use full fat coconut milk in a can. Place the can in the refrigerator overnight. When you open the can remove the top, solid coconut cream. Use the remaining liquid in another recipe.