In order to create a successful persimmon pudding, you must make doubly sure that the persimmons are ripe. An unripe persimmon is very astringent and nowhere near as pleasurable as the sweetness of a slightly overripe one.
When they’re ripe they’ll be very soft, almost jelly-like inside, and incredibly delicious. Freezing the fruit overnight and then thawing softens the fruit and also removes the astringency but is not necessary if the fruit is already ripe.
There may be more varieties but the only two that I have seen. The first is the Fuyu Persimmon which is short and firm. They’re crisp and sweet and the skin can be eaten or removed, a great variety for eating fresh. That is what I used in this recipe.
The other type is called, Hachiya which is longer and more “peach-shaped.” They need to be eaten when very soft. Best eaten chilled, or scooped out with a spoon, these ones are best for cooking.
A special warning… If you eat the Hachiya type of persimmon before it’s completely ripe, you will find it bitter and chalky, and will have the strongest mouth puckering experience of your life. It will even numb your lips and tongue for a short moment. How is that for a little excitement in your day? hehe
It is noted that you can avoid this by soaking the persimmon in salt water for a minute before you eat it. The salt will remove most of the bitter taste in your mouth. Alternately, simply wait until the Hachiya persimmon is soft and ripe. Or again, you can freeze it as I mentioned above. This will take away the chalky, tangy, bitter taste. Once defrosted it can be eaten in all its warm gooey splendor. To ripen firm astringent varieties, store at room temperature. To expedite process, place in paper bag with apple or banana.
yields 1 3/4 cups
1 cup ripe persimmon flesh
1 cup young Thai coconut meat
1/2 cup water
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
A slice of dried persimmon
Be sure that the persimmons ripe. They will feel mushy. Cut in half and with a spoon, remove the flesh of the fruit and place in the blender.
Add the coconut meat, water, vanilla, maple syrup and pumpkin spice. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Pour into 2 single serving cups and top with a dried persimmon. Enjoy right away or chill in the fridge. It will thicken some as it chills.
You can dehydrate persimmons too! They are so gorgeous in how they retain their color. Click (here) on how to dry them.