Persimmons are the fruit of the season for me, and I know this will be controversial, but I think they deserve more credit than the pumpkin. I know, I know, pumpkins are the fall food, but I’m sure we can all accept one more into our hearts. If you have never heard of, seen, or tasted a persimmon, let me describe one for you: they are very sweet, honey-flavored fruits that look kinda like a tomato and can have a lovely crunchy texture (like an apple) or be practically jelly on the inside. They are delicious.
I was reading up on persimmons for a cocktail coming out this Saturday. As I was researching them, I realized that you can put these guys in practically anything. They are obvious as a dessert, but they also make amazing appetizers and go well with salad! But before we get into the recipes, what even are persimmons?
What Are Persimmons?
Persimmons grow right here in America! They are also grown in Japan, China, Northern India, Australia, and some more. In fact, if you live near a state that grows them I’m sure you’ve heard of them as there are whole festivals dedicated to the fruit. Their season is just starting now in October and will end in February, so you have plenty of time to try them and fall head over heels.
The two most common types of persimmons are Fuyu and Hachiya. The Fuyu is flatter and more tomato like in appearance (above left). Hachiya is acorn-shaped but the size of a peach (above right). They both have light to bright orange skin. Fuyu is more common because it is less astringent. They can be eaten when still firm and are sweet and crunchy (kinda like an apple). Hachiya is very astringent and will give you the worst cotton mouth in the world if eaten before its so ripe it’s like a pudding (at which point it is extremely tasty and sweet).
How to Pick out a Good Persimmon and Ripening
When picking out persimmons it is important to think about what you want to use them for. If making a chunky salsa, Fuyu would be more desirable since it is firmer when ready to eat. Persimmons also ripen when picked, so it is great to get a lot at the beginning of the season and let them ripen on the counter (or in a paper bag for faster results). You can also turn them upside down onto their leaves to ripen. Hachiya should stay out on the counter and Fuyu can stay on the counter or be refrigerated. To pick out either kind, look for blemish free and smooth skin. You can eat Fuyu right away (if it has a bit of give), but ripen the Hachiya on the counter until very soft (or that cotton mouth is gonna take you by surprise).
When we first tried persimmons we picked up the Fuyu variety and fell in love. Since we liked them so much we decided to try Hachiya. We had some friends over that had never heard of persimmons before and invited them to try both kinds with us. I was unaware that Hachiya needed to be overripe to enjoy, we all got horrible cotton mouth and spit the fruit out. Needless to say, I don’t think those friends are ever eating persimmon again. You live and learn.
Health Benefits of Persimmons
Persimmons have some incredible health benefits (when is it ever not good to eat fruit?). I won’t go into huge detail, but persimmons are rich in antioxidants and vitamins A and C. Thay contain healthy amounts of minerals including potassium, manganese, copper, and phosphorus. They are also very high in fiber, containing nearly 20% of daily fiber in one serving. You can read more about the health benefits here.
It is thought that the inside of the persimmon seed can be used to predict the weather, similar to a groundhog. The seeds of the persimmon are cut in half and the shape of the inside kernel could predict the upcoming winter. A fork shape says that there will be light and powdery snow. A spoon shape means lots of snow and time to get out the shovel. Lastly, a knife means there will be ‘cutting’ and sharp winds.
It is best to use local seeds to predict your local weather. This year, all over America there have been lots of spoons in the seeds, so gear up for a heavy winter! 🙂
Almost Everything You Can Do With Persimmons
Here are a few recipes I found while trying to do research for the persimmon cocktail coming out on Saturday! These are recipes I haven’t tried, but would certainly love to (and I plan on making a few throughout the season), so these recipes are Molly-vetted. Now, this is not nearly everything you can do with them, that would be like making a list of everything you can do with butter (okay, maybe not as long). Since I hate scrolling through miles of photos in these types of things, I’m just going to list the recipe (with a clickable link) and the author under the categories. Anything denoted with “*” is NOT GF.
*Spiced Persimmon and Pecan Muffins from My Recipes
*Spiced Persimmon Tart with Brandy Mascarpone from My Recipes
*Persimmon and Walnut Scones by the Broken Bread
*Persimmon Quick Bread from Natasha’s Kitchen
Easy Dessert Idea: Wash persimmon and place in freezer for 4-6 hours, cut off the top and eat insides.
Gluten-Free Persimmon Cookies by Jessica Gavin (she also has a non-GF version)
* Persimmon Baked Pudding from Genius Kitchen
Honey-Baked Persimmons with Vanilla and Cinnamon by Nadia Lim
Persimmon Sorbet by Serious Eats
Persimmon Fool with Dark Rum Recipe by Todd & Diane
Persimmon Coconut Chia Pudding by Cooking LSL
*Lemon Glazed Persimmon Bars from Epicurious
Persimmon Flan with Honeyed Whipped Cream from Food Network
*Persimmon Bundt Cake from Genius Kitchen
Persimmon Ice Cream Topping from Food Network
*Persimmon Upside Down Cake by Cardomom and Tea
Persimmon, Fried Sage, and Goat Cheese Bites from Salt & Wind
Broiled Cheese and Persimmon Dip from Tasting Table
Prosciutto Wrapped Persimmons from Taste and See
Persimmon Bacon Bites with Rosemary Goat Cheese from A Calculated Whisk
Spice Persimmon Oatmeal by The Oatmeal Artist
*Persimmon and Mascarpone Crepes from Happy Yolks
Simple Roasted Persimmons by The Spruce Eats
Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Persimmon by Food & Wine
Persimmon Salad with Pomegranate and Walnuts by NY Times Cooking
Kale and Persimmon with Pecan Vinaigrette from Food Network
Persimmon Goat Cheese and Pomegranate Salad with Honey Dijon Dressing by Preppy Kitchen
Persimmon Harvest Salad with Citrus Vinegarette by Low Carb Maven
Roasted Persimmons with Mushroom and Kale by Lick My Spoon
*Persimmon and Mozzarella Grilled Cheese from California Grown
Persimmon Jam by Sweet and Savory Meals
Persimmon Butter from Lick My Spoon
Fresh Persimmon Salsa from Epicurious
Spicy Persimmon Chutney from Mrs.Wages
Persimmon Chuteny from Port and Fin
Dried Persimmon Tea: A Delicious Chai Alternative from Mountain Feed
Spiced Persimmon and Tumeric Tea by Gourmande in the Kitchen
Persimmon Punch (A Traditional Korean Recipe) from Maangchi
Which recipe are you most excited to try? I’m very excited about the tea and crepes (although I’ll have to make them GF).
Check out some of my Fall recipes:
Thank you so much for reading and I hope you have a wonderful persimmon filled Fall!