Jump to content

Persimmons


Monica Bhide
 Share

Recommended Posts

They're in season now--exquisite ones at farmers markets--and I've been reading a bit to come up w something different to do. They're fine mixed into yogurt, on their own w toasted walnuts and whipped cream, in salads w roasted beets and pistachios, but what else?

Haven't enjoyed the traditional midwestern persimmon pudding which is more of a cake since it is so loaded w spices and dried fruits, often, that one doesn't really taste the persimmons.

LA Times is a great resource, always, and there I read not only about making a fruit butter, but substituting persimmons for dates in sticky toffee pudding. Sounds like an idea--but I wonder about the dairy and eggs. Past experience and research taught me persimmons have an enzyme that make dairy-egg mixes coagulate (same as pineapples) and thus mess w texture.

While musing about possibilities of using some very, very ripe persimmons asap, I'm looking for your thoughts for something that would feature the fruit vs. a meat rub, say.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They're in season now--exquisite ones at farmers markets--and I've been reading a bit to come up w something different to do. They're fine mixed into yogurt, on their own w toasted walnuts and whipped cream, in salads w roasted beets and pistachios, but what else?

Haven't enjoyed the traditional midwestern persimmon pudding which is more of a cake since it is so loaded w spices and dried fruits, often, that one doesn't really taste the persimmons.

LA Times is a great resource, always, and there I read not only about making a fruit butter, but substituting persimmons for dates in sticky toffee pudding. Sounds like an idea--but I wonder about the dairy and eggs. Past experience and research taught me persimmons have an enzyme that make dairy-egg mixes coagulate (same as pineapples) and thus mess w texture.

While musing about possibilities of using some very, very ripe persimmons asap, I'm looking for your thoughts for something that would feature the fruit vs. a meat rub, say.

heinz has had them lately at the dupont market, but they are expensive, $8 a pound.

i used them for a pie a few weeks ago, stirring in some eggs and unhomogenized milk (sugar and vanilla also) with the pulp and did not have a textural mess. i ended up with something, in flavor, approaching a pumpkin or squash pie.

however they are strange, impossible to eat when they are unripe and too sweet for some tastes when they are edible. the peel hardens if you bake it. the batch of persimmons i bought were almost too ripe to use raw, which may be the best way to use them, but sparingly. they can have some of the same digestive effects as sunchokes and escolar, so i would not mix them with either of these ingredients.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While musing about possibilities of using some very, very ripe persimmons asap, I'm looking for your thoughts for something that would feature the fruit vs. a meat rub, say.

My parents always send a box from their trees in Florida - they have the big squishy kind and the firm Fuyu kind. I've frozen the pulp for later use in persimmon quickbread. For the really ripe ones, this isn't really a recipe, but you can put them in the freezer until they are slushy, cut off the top, then spoon out the "sorbet." Delicious. The firm, squat-shaped ones are nice additions to salads with vinaigrettes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My parents always send a box from their trees in Florida - they have the big squishy kind and the firm Fuyu kind. I've frozen the pulp for later use in persimmon quickbread. For the really ripe ones, this isn't really a recipe, but you can put them in the freezer until they are slushy, cut off the top, then spoon out the "sorbet." Delicious. The firm, squat-shaped ones are nice additions to salads with vinaigrettes.

You know how to eat it. :( However, do not eat a lot at a time. It will cause constipation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You know how to eat it. :( However, do not eat a lot at a time. It will cause constipation.

Worse yet, they're implicated in causing a very serious gastric blockage, a phytobeozor. I'd written my dad's warnings about excessive persimmon consumption off as an old wive's tale, but now that we have the internet to find all sorts of disgusting things, it turns out he was right.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

heinz has had them lately at the dupont market, but they are expensive, $8 a pound.

I could see why this might be considered pricey for a fruit, especially when apples cost around $2.50 a lb., but you only need to spend 3-4 dollars for 4-6 persimmons which cost much more in the supermarket if you can find them.

The season's short. They're not widely available. While relatively pest-free (important for an organic grower), they don't respond well to long dry spells such as the one we've experienced this year, and the roots are vulnerable when irrigated; water-logging causes rot. Squirrels, deer, rats, etc. don't worry about constipation, so you got to contend with competitors for consumption. Trees require lots of pruning. Apples weigh about half a lb. each. A little plastic clam shell of Driscoll's raspberries fetches $3.99 (5-6 oz.)... Just trying to look at it from the farmer's perspective. :(

***********

Freezing sounds easy and good, so thanks for advice!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I could see why this might be considered pricey for a fruit, especially when apples cost around $2.50 a lb., but you only need to spend 3-4 dollars for 4-6 persimmons which cost much more in the supermarket if you can find them.

The season's short. They're not widely available. While relatively pest-free (important for an organic grower), they don't respond well to long dry spells such as the one we've experienced this year, and the roots are vulnerable when irrigated; water-logging causes rot. Squirrels, deer, rats, etc. don't worry about constipation, so you got to contend with competitors for consumption. Trees require lots of pruning. Apples weigh about half a lb. each. A little plastic clam shell of Driscoll's raspberries fetches $3.99 (5-6 oz.)... Just trying to look at it from the farmer's perspective. :(

i didn't say they weren't worth it, just that they were expensive, and somewhat offbeat. i am happy that someone is carrying these, and in the meantime have learned the difference between astringent and non-astringent varieties. i am assuming that what is available at the market is the former; i know the wild ones around here are. i haven't pedaled out to persimmon tree lane for years, so i don't know if it is still living up to its name, but i remember that it was difficult to time them and they were not easy to pick.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While musing about possibilities of using some very, very ripe persimmons asap, I'm looking for your thoughts for something that would feature the fruit vs. a meat rub, say.

You could do as the Japanese do and hang them outside to dry. Dried persimmons (hoshigaki) are a lovely winter snack.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You could do as the Japanese do and hang them outside to dry. Dried persimmons (hoshigaki) are a lovely winter snack.

Don't these get special treatment--massages? Still have a couple to experiment with, though a backyard of bird-feeders, littered w acorns means there are lots of critters plus garbage-scavenger raccoons!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You could do as the Japanese do and hang them outside to dry. Dried persimmons (hoshigaki) are a lovely winter snack.

Or you can save a lot of time and go get the special persmmion gift packs that the Koreans have. You can pick them up (along with fresh persimmons) from H-Mart in Fairfax.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I rigged up a catch net under my persimmon tree and have been getting about a dozen fruit a day.  I put them through a food mill then freeze the pulp until I have enough to make something.  The first batch went into persimmon pudding (NYT recipe).  Any ideas what to try next?  I like giant shrimp's idea of pie.  Any ideas welcomed.

btw the tree is the native persimmon, Diospyros virginiana.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

has anyone tried growing asian persimmons in the dmv area? if so, what cultivar did you use and how did it turn out? on georgia ave, near where i live, there are a couple people with persimmon trees that are currently laden with fruit. they look gorgeous. i'm so tempted to ring their doorbell and ask what variety they are growing (as it appears to do very well here) but thought i'd try here first before becoming that weird lady......

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The non astringent varieties are marginal in most of DMV, though might be fine in warmer spots in or near DC, you can probably grow them where you live as that's practically zone 8A.  The astringent Asian varieties will be fine anywhere in DMV.  There are also some American and American x Asiatic persimmons with smaller fruits and greater hardiness.

Edible Landscaping will have region appropriate varieties for sale.  Just Fruits and Exotics are price but have big health plants.  They're pest free plants, though not particularly precocious, maybe 3-5 years to bear.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

thanks for the tip on just fruit--i'd never heard of them before and they have so many great varieties including a dwarf i may be able to do on our deck! you mentioned zone 8A--do you think silver spring actually gets this warm? if so, that's encouraging, Ive been holding back on trying things beyond zone 6, but maybe i will try something. one q though--when you say the just fruits trees aren't precocious, do you mean that though they may be bigger they don't seem to fruit earlier than smaller trees from other vendors? or just that persimmons in general take 3-5 years to fruit? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I meant that persimmons in general are not fast to fruit as peaches or plums.  The Just Fruits trees are big, so it might be a year faster to fruit.  I think Silver Spring is safely zone 7.  My experience was  from something of an urban heat island part of SS, but I successfully fruited pomegranates, so I think it's fair to say 7B or 8A for parts of SS (also parts of DC, Arlington, and Alexandria)  Not warm enough for true semitropical plants, but hospitable for pomegranates, figs, and hardy gardenias.

But this is in the ground with good placement.  Anything in a pot of  your deck should preferably be hardy to zone 5 or colder to get through a winter here.  It might be possible with a large pot and some sort of sheltered wintering position, and it's helpful that persimmons are grafted on hardier American persimmon rootstock, but still an iffy proposition.  

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...