Food Challenge: Persimmons

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Food Challenge: PersimmonsIt’s always a treat to visit my parents in Northern California. Of course we like the opportunity to see them because we are often stationed across the ocean or on the other side of the country from them. But, we can also often expect to find inexpensive or even free locally grown produce. Some of it grows in my parentsyard, some of the abundance is shared by neighbors, and if were there during the right time of the year, we enjoy going to a bustling farmersmarket.

Last Christmas, we arrived at the tail end of persimmon season in that area. My parents had a bunch in the garage that we needed to use up, and even the Christmas tree farm had them decorating windowsills and countertops. I made the recipes for this food challenge then, but saved it for this year because I wanted to make sure you could find persimmons so you could try out these delicious recipes.

The tricky part about eating persimmons is knowing what kind you’re eating. Fuyus are more commonly sold in the States, and you eat them raw when they are slightly crisp. Mistakenly bite into a Hachiya when its still crisp and youll find it unpleasantly sour and your mouth will pucker. Hachiyas are best eaten when they are extremely ripe, and often the flesh is cooked and pureed into a pulp to be used in sauces or baking. Youll find recipes for both varieties below.

Be sure to show us your persimmon dishes! #idfoodchallenge

Tips on how to store and prepare Persimmons

Spiced Persimmon Smoothie via Fresh Bites Daily

Spiced Persimmon Smoothie

via Fresh Bites Daily

Ready to step outside of the pumpkin box? This delicious smoothie still has the seasonal orange color and that oh so good pumpkin pie spice flavor, but you don’t need as much sweetener because the super ripe Hachiya persimmons are already sweet. If you like cold smoothies, go ahead and use a frozen persimmon like the recipe suggests, but you could just use fresh as well, maybe adding a few ice cubes.

Persimmon Pear Caprese Toast via Joy the Baker

Persimmon Pear Caprese Toast

via Joy the Baker

Do you need a unique appetizer to serve at a party or take to a gathering? This spin on the tomato classic will definitely have people talking. Fuyu persimmons are what you need for this recipe. For the balsamic glaze, you might need to head to a specialty grocery store like Trader Joe’s or purchase it online. I love the glaze on salads or caprese pizza because its thicker than regular balsamic vinegar and it holds its shape nicely when drizzled, so its nice to have a bottle around.

Persimmon Compote - InDependent Original

Persimmon Compote

InDependent Original

This recipe is from my dad so it means it’s a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Hes always looking for ways to use up his abundant supply of produce. My daughter always looks forward to breakfast at Grammy and Grampas house. They served this colorful compote over Swedish pancakes for a weekend treat.

Ingredients

  • ripe Hachiya persimmon
  • fresh lemon juice
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • optional to thicken - 1 teaspoon cornstarch or flour mixed with cold water

Directions

Remove the stem and any black seeds from the persimmons. It’s okay to leave the skin on. Boil down the fruit with a little lemon juice, adding cinnamon and nutmeg to taste. If you need to thicken, mix a teaspoon of cornstarch or flour with cold water, and then stir into the compote, simmering until you reach the desired thickness.

 

Serve over pancakes, waffles, toast, or plain yogurt.