An introduction to American persimmons.
Video on handling and cooking with persimmons.
American Persimmons are very sweet and mild in flavor. If picked
even slightly under ripe they will be very astringent. A ripe fruit will fall from the tree as early as August or as late as January. Ripe fruit should be softer than a over ripe tomato. You can judge the ripeness of the fruit by gently tugging. If the fruit comes off it should be ripe. Take a very tiny bite, wait 2 minutes for signs of astringency. If the fruit is good, go ahead and gather more fruit, tugging as gently as before.
At Red Fern Farm we spread nets under our persimmon trees, held up with electric fence posts. The nets collect the fruit as it falls from the trees. We gather the fruit daily to keep wasps and raccoons from feasting on them. You can freeze the fruit whole or mash and remove the seeds and then freeze. All recipes use fruit that has been de-seeded. It is not necessary to remove the delicate skin.
You can also dry the de-seeded fruit.
Persimmon pulp can be used in recipes that call for banana pulp, applesauce or other soft, sweet fruits. You often can reduce or eliminate sugars or fats in the recipes. The persimmon brownie recipe was designed to be as low-calorie and nutritious as possible utilizing these traits of the American Persimmon.