Here’s some news you’ll find either inspiring or paralyzing: Backyard persimmons are in season. Has your neighbor brought you a bag yet?
If you’re used to working with Hachiya persimmons (the ones commonly found around here), then you know you have to wait for them to ripen considerably before cooking with them. If you don’t, you’re facing fruit that’s full of acerbic tang.
Like the other main variety consumed in the United States, the Fuyu, Hachiya persimmons are native to Asia. They need to be so ripe before you eat them that it’ll feel like you’re holding a water balloon. Weird, I know. One of the easiest ways to extract the flesh from the fruit, is to remove the stem on top, and use a spoon to scoop out the gelatinous flesh inside, avoiding the skin. Messy, indeed, but worth it. Here’s some more cool intel on this emblematic fall fruit.
The Hachiya persimmon’s sweet flavor and loose consistency makes it great for baking, and my favorite use is in this dense tea bread, which I’ve shared here before using fresh summer peaches. It calls for pear pulp, but is easy to modify using persimmons instead. The addition of candied ginger and walnuts help cut through the fruit’s intense sweetness.
Give it a try. Persimmon bread is great for breakfast with a cup of coffee, or at night with ginger tea.
Maggie Heyn Richardson is the creator of “Spatula Diaries” and a regular 225 contributor. Contact her at hungryforlouisiana.com.