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Monday, November 3, 2008

How To Prepare Persimmons

There is a little-known wild fruit that grows throughout the Southeast and North Texas called a persimmon. It is different than the Asian varieties and can only be eated once it is fully ripe and squishy. Yes, I said "squishy"...and that is probably why American persimmons are not sold at grocers. As you know, my family likes to pick local wild fruit and I thought I'd share with you how to prepare these little "Fruits of the Gods" as they are sometimes called.
First, you must make sure you only gather the ripe fruit and make sure you know what it is you are picking. Ripe fruit is evenly orange and soft. This often entails picking up fruit off the ground. Matter of fact, I dont think I've picked persimmons off the tree (usually persimmons ripen after the first frost, but not always like this year). Persimmons squish easily:
Next, put the persimmons in a clean bowl with water. Let it soak for ten minutes. Now, using your fingers, peel off the blossom tops and any darkened spots. Put the persimmon in another bowl.
This is what you are left with. Don't drain down sink or put in garbage disposal. Bad idea! The persimmons will clog up your drain and disposal.
Here is what the persimmons look like after they have had their tops taken off and are sitting in the bowl waiting to be mashed. Notice the two persimmons on top. They are NOT ripe. The ripe persimmons are orange and soft.
Now get your potato masher (or similar tool) and squish the persimmons into a soft pudding-like consistency. This should take about one minute.
Now pour the mashed persimmons into a colander (strainer) with big holes in it that has been placed into another bowl. Using the masher or spoon, push the pulp through the strainer. You will be left with a ton of seeds and some skin and fibers.

You are now left with a seed free persimmon pulp. Measure three cups of persimmons and add one cup water. You are now ready to make persimmon pudding or persimmon jelly (mmmmmm)!

Next time, how to make something with persimmons...don't forget your apron!


mom said...

SO, are you going to bring your sweet mom some of this yummy stuff? (along with your homemade yogurt)

Charli said...

I've seen them in my local Walmart before. Nothing like the real fresh I-just-picked-it-myself-thankyouverymuch kind of deal, but I'm just sayin'! That looks delish, btw. I could schmear somma that on some bagels with some cream cheese! Or toast. Or no, wait... homemade bread fresh outta the oven! Yes, that sounds best. Dang. I think there is a reason I am a size 14!

Allie said...

Most of the persimmons that you see in grocery stores are asian persimmons. American persimmons have very little shelf life. But boy are they good. And the asian variety are too, just different.

mom said...

SO MOM is still WAITING for her JAR..........

KMDuff said...

Interesting! :) Fun cooking lesson!

Jennifer, Playgroups Are No Place For Children said...

I got here by googling, "how to prepare persimmons" because my husband gathered THOUSANDS this past weekend (I sometimes exaggerate) and he wanted me to figure out what to do with them.

Thank you for this great tutorial! I wondered how to get the pulp and now I know!

Anonymous said...

Very good article, but persimmons seldom look like that in a bowl here in, we have to fight all the critters for them and generally they are purple when ripe as they turn that color as soon as they ome off the tree. As my mom that lived through the depression said "just wash the ants or flys off and eat'em"! We do have to wait for the first GOOD frost for the bulk of them to ripen though. Also to get the kids interested in the process remember-cutting a persimmon seed open will tell you the kind of winter we will have...I'm thinking this pertains more to the northern climates than the south as I doubt a spoon would mean you are shoveling a lot of snow lol.

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