Persimmons are a mysterious little fruit. They are beautiful little golden orbs that look a bit like tiny peaches, but they have a flavor all their own.
The ones we get around here are smaller than golf balls and full of seeds. So why do we bother? Because they are delicious!
It's tempting to pick them when they just begin to turn soft - like peaches. Be warned! If you taste one then, it'll be nasty. Like eating a super green banana. It leaves a weird astringent after-taste. Unpleasant.
So why do all the critters in area love them so much? Because the critters eat them off the ground, after it frosts and they fall off the tree.
When persimmons are ripe enough to be sweet [and they are very very sweet!], they get mushy and fall off the tree. Really mushy. Yuck.
It's really hard to get them in good enough shape that you can wash them a bit before you sieve the seeds out and still have them sweet enough to eat. Really hard.
Not to worry. Gather them when you can - even if they're not fully ripe. Wash them gently and sieve them to get the pulp. Then put the pulp in freezer containers and freeze them for a while. It's the freezing that sweetens them up.
We do a couple of pounds of pulp a year and freeze it. Then we make a persimmon pudding with last year's pulp. It's a good system.
Persimmon pudding is not an American style pudding - creamy custardy stuff. Persimmon pudding is a classic Old World pudding - like Christmas pudding. Dense, moist, delicious.
Seriously delicious. You definitely want to try this.
- 2 C persimmon pulp
- 2 C buttermilk [or milk soured with a T of lemon juice or vinegar]
- 2 C sugar
- 2 C flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 T butter [soft or melted]
- 1 tsp cinnamon
You can cut the recipe in half and use an 8x8 inch pan if you want a smaller batch.
Note: This will come out of the oven puffy and brown. As it sits, it will deflate and turn a deep purple-y brown. That's normal. Desirable, even. It's a great color. It tastes better when it's that glorious cordovan brown.