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!