Have you tasted a delicious fall persimmon yet this year? Or are you a bit confused by them like I was at first?
I remember the first time I ever saw the strange reddish-orange fruit, in a basket in my Grandma Lucy’s RV during our traditional November family beach trip. At first I thought they were tomatoes, until I noticed they had a different funny-looking stem “hat!” But, as I told my 6 year old the other day, you can rest assured they taste nothing like tomatoes.
Thanks to my knowledgeable grandma’s natural curiosity and adventurous side, I learned about many new things from her. She was a lover of science, history and geology and could (by my estimation) tell you the name of almost any type of rock. That particular trip she taught me to make a little canoe from eucalyptus bark and the natural tar found along that beach.
But actually, I’m not sure I ever did try persimmons until after I was married when I received them in my CSA produce box. I think I still expected them to taste like a tomato, but of course, they are actually quite sweet. The texture is a bit like a peach or plum.
There are two different types of persimmon, and it is important to know which you have so you can use it correctly.
Fuyu persimmons look like a flat, squat tomato and are a bit crisper and eaten while firm. Slicing them works well since they have a sort of core in the middle, shaped like a star. You may notice some tiny brown flecks inside, almost as if it had fall spices already added.
Hachiya (God bless you!) persimmons are more oblong and usually taller. They will not taste good when firm, so you must wait until they are very soft and squishy like a water balloon. At this point you can cut out the top and eat it fresh, or scoop and scrape the sweet slime out to bake with. The following recipe is for hachiya persimmons, adapted from this page.
This recipe does seem a little heavy on the bananas, so if you’d like you can try reducing the banana or switching one out for another persimmon.
- 2 small/med ripe bananas
- flesh of one soft, ripe hachiya persimmon
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1.5 tsp cinnamon
- Extra dash of nutmeg, clove, or pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp vanilla (optional)
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 tb butter
- 1 3/4 cup flour (half can be whole wheat)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350. Blend all except flour, baking powder, and nuts in a mixer or blender. (A blender will break up the little fibers better). Then pour blender into bowl of dry ingredients or add dry ingredients to mixer bowl if not using blender. Mix until combined.
Divide into 12 muffin cups and bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes. Enjoy the smell and taste of fall!