12 Persimmon Recipes Everyone Should Make This Fall
Persimmons, vivid orange fruits of autumn, have been cultivated in parts of Asia for at least 1,000 years, but remain mysterious to many Americans. We're finally catching up these days, and that means that we're discovering ways both new and old for making great use of persimmons in savory preparations as well as sweet ones throughout fall.
The two varieties commonly available here are Fuyu and Hachiya. Before you buy a persimmon, it's important to know which type you're considering, because that will affect how and when to prepare it. Fuyu is the squat persimmon with a rounded bottom pictured here. It can be eaten when firm or soft. To choose a fuyu, look for one with taut skin free of blemishes. When it's firm, simply cut away the leaves, and wash or peel, then slice it as you would an apple; it is crunchy and sweet, and best for salads. To eat it when soft, store at room temperature until it gives to the touch, similar to a tomato.
The Hachiya persimmon, on the other hand, has an elongated, heart-like shape. It should only be eaten when very ripe; when firm, the Hachiya is so astringent it can make your mouth dry to the point of numbness. It will ripen at room temperature and once ripened, the luscious, aromatic fruit is unforgettable. It can be ripened far past the point at which you might throw away most other fruits; when the skin appears almost translucent and the fruit feels mushy, you can bake with it—or slice off the top and eat its jelly-like contents right away.
Ahead, our favorite ways to enjoy these delicious fall fruits.
Persimmon and Bresaola Bites
Wedges of firm fuyu persimmon wrapped in paper-thin slices of bresaola (an Italian air-dried beef) are a contemporary twist on prosciutto and melon. No recipe required.
Steamed Persimmon Pudding
In the style of traditional English winter puddings, this spiced cake is steamed slowly on the stovetop and served warm. Soft (to the point of mushy) Hachiya persimmons with their deep, sweet flavor are used in the batter. Once the cake is cooked and turned out of its mold it can be garnished with dried Fuyu persimmon slices.
Persimmon and Brie Crostini
Persimmon, Beet, and Citrus Salad
The best salads are a medley of textures, flavors, and colors. Arrange all the ingredients for this one as a composed salad, or simply toss together. The sweetness of fuyu persimmons and beets balances the sunny acidity of citrus and crisp, bitter greens, hitting all the notes.
Frozen Persimmon Custard
The best one-ingredient fall dessert and another no-recipe needed persimmon idea. Firm Fuyu persimmons can be frozen for eight hours (or up to a month), which softens and preserves them. To serve, cut off the tops with a serrated knife and spoon out the sweet, custard-like frozen fruit. Similarly, soft Fuyu and Hachiya varieties can also be frozen, and once defrosted the flesh will be soft enough to blend into a recipe.
Pork with Persimmons and Mustard Greens
A pork roast with greens and persimmons makes a beautiful—and simple—autumn dinner. Use firm or semi-firm fuyu persimmons; there's time for them to soften in the oven, where they'll be seasoned with sizzling pork fat before being splashed with an amber, nutty Marsala wine.
Mixed Chicories with Persimmons
Broiled Persimmons with Mascarpone
Caramelized Persimmons with Prosciutto
Persimmon Fruit Leather
Your favorite childhood snack gets way more sophisticated when you pair persimmons with pineapple.
Persimmon and Escarole Salad
Elevate a simple green salad with sweet-tart persimmons and buttery pistachios. It's the perfect way to round out any fall meal.