Also known as Sharon fruit or kaki, persimmon is an aromatic fruit that varies in shape, size, and ranges in colour from light yellow to dark red. The persimmon looks much like a tomato, but it tastes a bit like honey, combining sweetness, richness, and mildness.
The skin of persimmon is slightly tougher than an apple and its texture is like biting into an apricot. However, if you bite into a persimmon that is unripe, it will taste bitter, and your mouth will go dry.
So, to avoid this, you need to know when a persimmon is ripe. You can tell in a similar way to choosing tomatoes. A ripe persimmon will be free of blemishes, smooth, and have a small amount of give when you squeeze it gently.
There are many health benefits that come with eating persimmons. This is due to their high fibre content, antioxidant qualities, and anti-inflammatory abilities. They are also a good source of Vitamin A which is very beneficial to eye health.
Persimmons can come in a number of varieties. In Australia, the common persimmon (also known as the American persimmon and found in the Southern US) is most prevalent.
There is also the Hachiya persimmon. This should only be eaten ripe due to the higher amounts of tannic acid that they have. This type of persimmon is large and has an oblong heart shape that makes it easy to differentiate from the Fuyu variety.
The Fuyu persimmon has one of the sweetest tastes which makes it one of the most popular persimmons sold in stores, especially in Japan.
Whilst recognising a persimmon is one thing, knowing what to do with them is quite another. So here are some of our best persimmon recipes for you to try yourself.
If you love fruity flavours, try making our delicious Easy Lemon Curd
As with many fruits, no list of best persimmon recipes would be complete without a preserve recipe.
Persimmon jam is a lovely addition to lots of different types of food such as bread and crackers. It also makes a delicious glaze as well. After you have made this jam and bottled it, it may look more like marmalade due to its orangey colour but it will taste much less bitter.
For this recipe, you need just four ingredients, ripe persimmons, sugar, the juice of two lemons, and a bottle of liquid pectin.
The Fuyu persimmon has an oblate shape that almost resembles a smooth cube with four discernible sides. The lack of tannins in the Fuyu makes them sweet to eat whatever the level of ripeness.
This persimmon bread looks absolutely delicious so you can only imagine what it must be like to bite into it. The texture is soft and moist and there are raisins and walnuts that run through each slice which gives a lovely crunch.
To make this bread you need quite a few ingredients but most of them can be found in any kitchen cabinet.
These ingredients include two eggs, vanilla extract, granulated sugar, melted unsalted butter, baking soda, pureed Fuyu persimmon, salt, plain flour, cinnamon, toasted walnut pieces, and raisins.
Are you in Brisbane and hankering for a decent loaf or a sticky pastry? Take a look at our bakeries guide.
For this cookie recipe, you will need to get a hold of the Hachiya variety of persimmon. Also it’s vital that they are ripe before you use them. To check, make sure that it feels like they are on the brink of breaking when you pick them up.
You can also tell when they are ready if they have translucent skin and pulp with the consistency of jam.
To give this recipe a go you need two to three skinned Hachiya persimmons, sugar, baking soda, butter, flour, an egg, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, chopped walnuts, salt, and raisins.
I know I’m biased, but this really is on of the best persimmon recipes out there.
This recipe gives a combination of a scone and a muffin with a crunchy top and a moist bottom. The use of persimmons and ginger makes for a wonderful sweet and spicy taste, which is the exciting twist to these baked goodies.
You will need the Fuyu persimmon for this as they are firmer and crunchier than the other varieties. This means that they can be sprinkled throughout the scone muffin in chunks instead of dominating the flavour.
It is important that the Fuyu persimmons are not too ripe. Otherwise, they are almost impossible to dice and won’t hold their shape as well in the batter.
The ingredients include all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, unsalted butter, ground ginger, chopped candied ginger, buttermilk, an egg, two Fuyu persimmons. They look great with pearl sugar sprinkled on top, but this is optional.
This pudding adds a bit of spice to your life, and it is recommended that you use the Fuyu persimmon for this recipe. Another alternative is to order some frozen fresh puree from an online store if you prefer. Both options yield similar results.
You can serve this pudding warm, or you can leave it to completely cool for at least an hour. It’s best served with cream or ice cream and sprinkling a bit of cinnamon on top can really make it pop.
You’ll need to raid your pantry for all the ingredients to make this pudding, but the effort will be worth it.
The ingredients are all-purpose flour, baking powder, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking soda, kosher salt, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, eggs, whole milk, half-and-half, persimmon puree. Then there’s chopped and toasted pecans, butter, cinnamon whipped cream, fresh persimmon slices, orange zest, and finally some optional orange liqueur.
This is a very easy pudding to whip up when you are short on time. It is also perfect for autumn as it has the warming flavours of cinnamon and brown sugar. We recommend using the Fuyu persimmon for this pie as this will make it nice and sweet.
The ingredients are unsalted butter, brown sugar, white sugar, all-purpose flour, lemon juice, ground cinnamon, cinnamon sugar and peeled, cored and sliced Fuyu persimmons. You’ll also need some 9-inch pie crusts.
This inclusion in the best persimmon recipes run-down comes with a warning. You will get addicted to this cheesecake in no time! We bet you will find yourself craving the light and creamy texture and the taste of the fresh persimmon and warm spices.
The pecans sprinkled on top add a satisfying crunch that really complete this luscious cheesecake. To make the crust of the cheesecake you need gingersnap crumbs, chopped pecans, unsalted butter, and granulated sugar.
For the filling, you need are cream cheese, granulated sugar, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, plain flour, salt, eggs, vanilla extract, and persimmon pulp.
These are lovely little mouthfuls of flavor that you can either have as a snack or as hors d’oeuvres at a dinner party.
Don’t worry though, we’re not suggesting you make the puff pastry. You can pick it up at your local supermarket – which makes the recipe much easier to prepare.
You only need five different ingredients to make these cute little tarts. They consist of sugar, cinnamon, apricot jam, Fuyu persimmons, and puff pastry that has been defrosted.
When you think of a salad, it seems pretty lacklustre doesn’t it? Well, this Persimmon Caprese Salad adds a whole new dimension to the dish. Not only that, but it is sweet and delicious, as well as very healthy.
The mozzarella is paired with the Fuyu persimmon instead of tomato in an alternating fashion. The combination of alternating colours alone makes this recipe visually appealing.
You should use Fuyu persimmons instead of any other variety for this salad as they have the right amount of sweetness. Plus they are much easier to slice.
This salad takes just 20 minutes to whip up. You will need Fuyu persimmons, mozzarella balls, fresh basil, balsamic reduction, and roughly chopped pistachios for this recipe.
This is a super easy and delicious variation of the traditional butternut squash soup. It’s also fitting for lots of different dietary requirements as it is gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, and paleo. And even better, it is all done in one pot.
It takes an hour to make, and the result is a smooth, creamy soup that tastes amazing. Not only that, but it will also boost your immunity.
There’s quite an extensive list of ingredients in this soup. Given the work involved, we suggest you make a big batch and freeze portions for nights when you don’t want to cook.
Do you use your freezer as much as you could? Have you ever thought of getting a vacuum sealer to help package your food in portions?
The ingredients that this recipe calls for include prepared butternut squash, red onion, Fuyu persimmons, coconut milk, vegetable broth and warming spices. Once you’ve made it a couple of times, you’ll know how you like it and can start to tweak the spices etc. Remember that making a recipe your own by adapting it is all part of the fun.
Have all these persimmon recipes given you as taste for more unusual fruits? Why not take a look at our Best Mulberry Recipes for some more ideas.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Grow Persimmon Trees?
It’s all great having our best persimmon recipes, but can you get hold of persimmons?
Fancy having persimmons at your fingertips day and night? Then you may want to look into growing your own persimmon trees. They are native in the East of North America so if you live there, you will have a better chance of growing healthy persimmon trees.
Make sure that the site where you plant them has ample sun and well-drained soil. Keep in mind that the trees can grow up to 50 feet so they will need plenty of room to spread out.
You cannot grow persimmon trees in containers as their roots go very deep. In gardener’s terms, they have a strong taproot.
The trees like soil that is loamy and slightly acidic but are good at adapting to different conditions. If the soil is salty, the trees will not do well. They also need good drainage to prevent fungus problems and root rot.
Persimmon trees usually do not require watering unless they are experiencing an exceptionally dry season. If this is the case, then you should water the tree once a week once they are established. If they have just been planted then they will require a bit more watering.
Your persimmon tree will do best when it is in an area with full sun. Having said that, a bit of shade in the afternoons as this shouldn’t have too much impact.
In the early years, the tree should be kept well-pruned. This will ensure they have a strong branch structure so that when the persimmons grow big and heavy, the branches won’t snap off.
The persimmons will ripen in late fall and will stay on the tree into winter. It is important that you let them ripen fully before harvesting. Even when they have been picked, they will continue to ripen so it’s good to use them sooner rather than later.
Can You Eat Too Many Persimmons?
As with most things, eating too much of it can have negative effects on the body. If you eat too many persimmons your digestion will likely have some problems. It can also cause bezoar formation which can result in gastric obstruction.
Persimmons also contain something called tannin (also known as tannic acid) which is primarily found in the peel.
If you eat too many persimmons which aren’t ripe, you will feel your mouth dry up which is a sign that you should stop. If you don’t then the tannin can cause solidified blocks in your stomach as it mixes with the stomach acid.
This is why you should eat them when they are ripe, peeled, and in moderation.
To summarise, there are lots of great things that you can try with this interesting fruit. Every one of our best persimmon recipes is worth cooking. No matter the variety you have, there is a recipe that will utilise it and make you question how you had never baked or cooked with them before.
Remember to check that the persimmon is at the right ripeness before using it in your recipes.
After you try these recipes, you may find yourself a convert and want persimmons on tap. If this is the case, plant your very own persimmon trees in your backyard – but make sure you don’t eat too many!