Three cheers for persimmon season! These brilliant beauties are now appearing at markets and on backyard trees throughout the Bay Area. We can't pick a favorite Fall fruit (we're bakers after all), but persimmons are definitely finalists.
Do you know your Hachiya from your Fuyu? These are the two common varieties found in local markets. Crisp Fuyus are bright and squat, like petite smooth-skinned pumpkins. They are delectable & showy sliced raw into salads and to top your crostini. Hachiyas, shaped like an extra-large flame orange acorn, start off firm and super astringent, then morph into fall-apart soft, honey-tinged goodness, an instant dessert. We're not kidding: you can literally just freeze them and scoop out the halves to eat with a spoon. They are most commonly used in chutneys and puddings.
Here are some ideas to help you use persimmons in your home kitchen this Fall.
- Make a showstopper tart or an old fashioned persimmon pudding for your holiday table.
- Dehydrate them to enjoy all year round on cheese plates and as hiking snacks; simply bake ⅛- to ¼-inch Fuyu slices on a rack in a dehydrator or 200℉ oven for two or three hours. Or, go all in with Hachiyas for a multi-week project to make hoshigaki (we recommend the method in Nancy Singleton Hachisu's Preserving the Japanese Way).
- Slice Fuyus for salads, pairing with tangy cheeses, toasted nuts, torn lettuces, and a shallot vinaigrette. Thinly slice the fruits crosswise to expose the pretty star pattern inside.
- Eat a Fuyu raw like an apple, sprinkling with a little lime juice and Aleppo or Guntur Sannam Chilli (we know, it's sold out. The waitlist is totally worth it).
- Purée for smoothies or cocktails or to top frozen yogurt or ice cream. Press a very ripe Hachiya (or a couple of peeled Fuyus you've whizzed with an immersion blender) through a fine meshed strainer and sweeten to taste (if needed) with simple syrup. A dash of vanilla is welcome, too.
We'd love to hear how you're enjoying persimmons at home. Share your creations at #TCKatHome or send us an email