Persimmons---What do I do with them? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

We just moved to some property with loads of wild persimmon trees. Can anybody tell me what to do with persimmons?

-- Ruth Smith (, August 24, 2000


Wild persimmons vary in eating qualities. Some are very good and others never get rid of all their pucker power even late in the season. Can make preserves, eat them fresh, or dry them. Need to wait until they are ripe or they are very puckery. You'll get told they need frost or freeze, but not true, they just fully ripen about that time of year. Had warm winter last year and no frost until into November. Persimmons were fine at that time without the frost. Frost or freezing doesnt hurt them think due to high sugar content and low water content when they are ripe. When dried they have some of the qualities of a dried fig and can be used in same ways. They do have several big seeds which have to be removed before doing any processing.

-- Hermit John (, August 24, 2000.

Somewhere around here I have a recipe for persimmon beer that was popular during the colonial times. I've never managed to have enough persimmons at one time to make it thought--they all get eaten fresh too soon.

They are my favorite candy.


-- paul (, August 24, 2000.

Are these the small persimmons? Persimmon pudding is the thing to do with persimmons. You can also make cookies. Persimmons are usually better after a frost and yoou pick off the ground from Nov. on in SE Indinan. After you pick them, was and put through a Foley Food Mill or something similar. Freeze in 1c. portions. You can lay them out on waxed aper on a cookie sheet the put them in plastic bags after they're frozen. I dried some of the pulp this way last year, haven't used it yet. I'll post the recipe for persimmon pudding afterwhile and for cookies. The pulp sold frozen or canned at farm markets etc. but it's quite expensive.

-- Cindy (, August 24, 2000.

Ruth--this has nothing to do with what to do with persimmons--but reminded me of a memory. When I was young growing up--my Dad drove a cattle truck/ was one of his many jobs & talents. I use to go with him when I could in the summer months/ up until school started/ & on weekends. We were going down the road one beautiful fall day & my Dad spotted a persimmon tree loaded with persimmons.(he loved persimmons) He stopped that truck/ & we walked to the nearest farm house for permission to pick some of their persimmons/ no one was home---so Dad left them a note & told them who he was & he was going to pick a small tote full of persimmons & if he owed them anything to send him a note & he would gladly pay them / or if they were ever in his neck of the woods to give him a hollar & he would buy them a meal. Well the guy who owned the tree--stopped when he was in Dad's neck of the woods & they developed a friendship that lasted well over 40 years! Over a sack of persimmons. Just had to share that with you. Dad died of cancer 9 years ago & thanks for the memory of Dad again this morning--not a day goes by that I don't think of him--the persimmoms reminded me of a great memory! Thank you--- I hope someone stops & leaves you a note/ takes a tote of persimmons & that grows into a 40 year friendship! Sonda in Ks.

-- Sonda (, August 24, 2000.

Thanks for sharing the beautiful memory Sondra. My great-grandmother loved persimmons also. When I was a child in WV I spent a lot of time with her and each autumn she and I would regularly check the persimmion trees until they were "just right" for picking. She walked with a cane and didn't get around real well but always wanted to inspect them herself. She would hobble to the tree and back about once a week until she judged them just right for picking then I would pick them for her. We ate them as they were and she made pudding and sort of bread with them, much like banana or zucchini bread.

-- Marci (, August 24, 2000.

You can also use the persimmon seeds to forcast the coming winter weather. Let the seeds dry for a day or two after you take them out of the pulp. Carefully squeeze the sides with pliers 'til they pop open. Look carefully at the white thing inside (cotyledon?). If you see a spoon shape, the winter will be very snowy. If you see a knife shape, the winter will be bitter cold. If you see a fork shape, the winter will be fair. If you see a whole bunch of poop with persimmon seeds in it under your tree, you have possums! (Not weather related....or is there any weather lore related to possums?!)

-- Polly (, August 24, 2000.

I found out as a kid, you can chunk em at the neighborhood girls with your wristrocket slingshot. Just watch out for the girl that launches it back, she'll think its a mating dance and you'll be 'going steady".

-- Jay Blair (, August 24, 2000.

Jay, I was one of those girls, who threw them at the new neighbor who was a "city slicker"! We also talked him into tasting the green ones!! Told him, they were the greatest and he would love them! We became great friends and he did forgive us!!!

-- Debbie T in N.C. (, August 24, 2000.

My gran makes a killer persimmon bread, dark with nuts and stuff. If anybody wants, I could get the recipe from her.

Also, the best way to ensure the persimmons are ripe is to only pick up the fallen ones, and watch out for any suspiciously smooth skinned ones.

-- Soni (, August 24, 2000.

Persimmon Pudding: 2c. persimmon pulp...1c. sugar or 1/2 c. honey...2c. buttermilk or soured milk...1T. melted butter...1t. soda...1t. baking powder...1t. cinnamon...1/4t. salt...1 1/2c. flour...3 eggs, separated... Mix pulp and egg yolks. Beat well. Add honey and beat again. Sift flour with salt, soda baking powder, and cinnamon... Add to persimmon mixture alternately with the buttermilk...Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites...pour into greased 2 qt casserole I use a 9x13 baking dish, I butter the baking dish with the 1T of butter instead of adding it to the mixture...bake 40 to 50 miutes at 350. Delicious with whipped cream or ice cream. Enjoy!

-- Cindy (, August 25, 2000.

Gosh Cindy! Wish I new of a place in Central Indiana that have persimmons. My grandmother had a tree in Kentucky when I was a little girl and I used to love them. So far I havent seen any trees here in Central Indiana.

-- Denise Priest (, August 26, 2000.

Another one of those fruits that I cut into chunks and freeze on a cookie sheet, when frozen tuck into Zip Lock bags and use in any cookie or nut bread recipe. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh (, August 26, 2000.

Denise, if you and yours want to take a day trip down to Seymour, persimmons are available for the picking up. I've "cultivated" several folks w/ persimmon trees. After the first bunch fall, enthusiasm also falls and then folks are glad to get rid of them. One fella has 6-8 trees. He doesn't use any of them. John

-- john (, August 26, 2000.

This is a little off topic but with so many persimmon afficionados contributing maybe I'll get lucky.

I've been tromping around cemeteries in KY this summer and noticed that many/most of them have at least a couple of persimmon trees. I seem to recall (or am imagining) that there is some Biblical reference to persimmons. Am I imagining this? Does anyone know whether there is some such reason why persimmons happen to be planted in so many cemeteries? Or is this just a coincidence. Perhaps there's a website that has this type of tree lore. I'm looking for it, that's how I ended up here. Thanks

-- Todd Leatherman (, October 06, 2001.

Todd: I can't answer your question but I do have a story... Shortly after I started working at Warrenton Missouri as a forester, I stopped by the Daniel Boone Cemetery with one of the fellows who worked for me. He said the legend was that Boone himself planted the Persimmons growing there from seeds from Kentucky and that they weren't puckery. Dumb me had to test the no-pucker legend and found it to be quite false!! BTW I've also noticed that Eastern redcedar is common in cemeteries.

-- Susan (, October 06, 2001.

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