Persimmons: I have too many and some questions
September 18, 2021 7:14 AM   Subscribe

I greatly underestimated how many persimmons would come in this box from Miami Fruit. I will be giving some away, but I also have questions about storage and please give me your vegan (or easily veganized) persimmon recipes.

My main question is whether putting them in the refrigerator will slow down ripening without ruining them. But if you have any great tips for making persimmons last longer, please let me know. Also, I know these are supposed to get very soft before you eat them, but how do you tell if they've gone bad?

For recipes, in addition to being vegan, I try to minimize oil and sugar, so persimmon cookies made with vegan butter aren't going to work. I already found this persimmon bread recipe, which looks good. I also plan to freeze some and try the persimmon/banana "nice cream" on the website. Suggestions for savory usages would be great. Please share recipes and any persimmon-related tips you can.
posted by FencingGal to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Yes, they'll ripen more slowly in the fridge and stay good longer. A few weeks easily.

You can dry them! Peel whole fruit leaving the stem intact, hang them by the stem in full sun, they'll shrivel up and have a concentrated sunny taste.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 7:22 AM on September 18, 2021

Persimmon fruit leather, or sliced and dried like apple slices.
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:23 AM on September 18, 2021

Hang on! You have Fuyu persimmons (rounded bottom), which can be eaten out of hand when firm. Hachiya persimmons (pointy bottom) are the type that are terribly astringent until ripened to the point of liquefaction. Refrigerating your Fuyus will slow their ripening, which is good, because a soft Fuyu is honestly not very appetizing. You can absolutely bake with Fuyu persimmons; sub in an equal quantity of chopped persimmon for any recipe that calls for chopped apple. No need to peel them. Enjoy your persimmon bounty!
posted by la glaneuse at 7:49 AM on September 18, 2021 [2 favorites]

My main experience with persimmons is the wild type that grows in the southern US, which are definitely on the must-eat-sweet end of the spectrum. They are smaller, but very delicious fresh or sliced and dehydrated. We ate them both just-ripe and bletted.

Larger persimmons like yours take really well to grilling or roasting, thrown in salads or eaten with goat cheese or brie. They sub in well for bananas or peaches. In restaurants I've appreciated how Japanese chefs handle their persimmons, whether pickled shredded or whole, or used to balance a savory dish such as shira-ae.

Pasting because paywall, a salad from from the Japan Times:
Persimmon and avocado salad
"Serves 2 to 4. The textures of persimmon and avocado go really well together. Try using yuzu instead of the lemon, too.
2 medium ripe, firm sweet-type persimmons such as fuyū or jirō
1 avocado
Peel of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon mustard powder
½ teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
Mixed salad greens of your choice (optional)

Peel, de-pit and cut the avocado into bite-size cubes. Sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice. Peel the persimmons if the skin is tough, and cut into cubes that are about the same size as the avocado. Cut off thin strips of the zest of the lemon.
Combine the rest of the lemon juice, olive oil, mustard powder and salt in a small bowl. Mix well with a whisk or chopsticks.
Gently toss the persimmon and avocado cubes with this dressing..
Line a salad bowl or plate with greens of your choice, and arrange the persimmon and avocado cubes on top. Pour over any remaining dressing. Top with plenty of freshly ground black pepper, and garnish with the lemon zest and a little parsley. Toss gently before serving."
posted by notquitemaryann at 8:01 AM on September 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

Oooh I really want to make this hot sauce now!
posted by notquitemaryann at 8:20 AM on September 18, 2021

Best answer: Savory: So this broccoli beef with persimmon rice recipe is amazing and I think you could easily veganize the beef bit with some sort of tofu/vegan based substitution.
posted by foxfirefey at 9:27 AM on September 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Hang on! You have Fuyu persimmons (rounded bottom), which can be eaten out of hand when firm. Hachiya persimmons (pointy bottom) are the type that are terribly astringent until ripened to the point of liquefaction.

Thanks (and your "enjoy your persimmon bounty" made me smile), but this is what the website says:
They look like a mix between the fuyu persimmon and a tomato. These MUST be eaten as soft as possible for optimal flavor. This is a super rare variety that we haven't seen anywhere else. They will initially turn soft but the longer you can wait to eat these, the better they will taste. It should look like it is about to burst before you bite it.

So maybe they're a different variety that needs to be soft? I've ordered from Miami Fruit before and have been really happy with them.
posted by FencingGal at 9:32 AM on September 18, 2021

Best answer: I’ve never had that variety so I can’t be specific, but I’ve enjoyed many persimmons that appear to be far beyond overripe. Black spots and crinkly exterior textures are actually desirable. You might feel better remembering that a fully ripe plantain is also blackened and soft. Once I had a persimmon that smelled a little fermented, but ate it all the same and had no adverse affects - if it had been fizzy when I tried I probably would have stopped, but it had a fine texture. Otherwise of course, if you see mold, don’t eat it. Store them somewhere dry.

For a savory application, maybe a pumpkin or winter squash soup with persimmon blended in for sweetness? I bet it would be great with curry and butternut squash, with toasted walnuts for crunch. Or a roasted pumpkin soup with chili and cinnamon and pepitas.

I love eating persimmons in the fall with soft cheeses and nuts for a final course/late small meal. Since you’re vegan, maybe a cashew cream plating, or I bet it would be lovely mixed and baked with very soft tofu into a persimmon steamed pudding. I’m sure you have your own favorite cheese-evoking foods.
posted by Mizu at 12:19 PM on September 18, 2021

Best answer: Yes, these seem like a different variety from Fuyu and Hachiya, based on the description. Also, the image with the very red one on the tree doesn't seem Fuyu-like.

They can be frozen if you want to make jam or puree later.

National Center for Home Food Preservation

Can Persimmon Be Frozen? Yes, and Here’s How to Do It!
posted by shoesietart at 12:55 PM on September 18, 2021

If they are a variety which should be eaten soft, you want to treat them like bananas when you bake with them - super easy to do vegan quick breads with, just substitute for bananas! This also means that to store long term, wait till they are 100% pulpy and ripe, peel, whiz the pulp with a blender and freeze the pulp. Just defrost, whiz to reconstitute and bake when you want them. Good luck!
posted by branca at 1:33 PM on September 18, 2021

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