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Persimmons (Kaki)
(Excerpts from "Persimmons (Kaki) From Seed To Supper"
2nd Edition)

     Most of the world calls them kaki; they are caqui in Spanish, or Sharon fruit in Israel. In the United States, we call them persimmons after the Algonquin Indian name for Diospyros virginiana, the native american persimmon or Possum Persimmon. The genus name, Diospyros, means “food for the gods”. Once you get to know persimmons, you will agree they are indeed food for the gods. The genus Diospyros has three species of importance to the home gardener, kaki, virginiana and digyna.

DIOSPYROS kaki is an oval shaped tree that grows to 20 to 25 feet tall and 20 to 30 feet wide. Its most common varieties are:

CALIFORNIA FUYU (Oku Gosho?): Medium, round with a slight point, orange to deep red-orange color, sporadic male blossoms, often seedy, non-astringent, firm-ripe.

CHOCOLATE: Small reddish-orange, flesh is streaked with brown when cross pollinated, soft-ripe.

FUYU: Medium, oval like a flattened apple or tomato, pale orange to deep red-orange color, non-astringent, firm-ripe.

GIANT FUYU (Jumbu or Hana Fuyu): Large somewhat irregular tapered shape, ripens quickly, very sweet, pale orange to deep red-orange color, non-astringent, firm-ripe.

HACHIYA: Large, acorn-shaped persimmon, deep orange-red color, soft-ripe.

JIRO: Very similar and often confused with fuyu, squarish and truncated, pale orange to deep red-orange color, non-astringent, firm-ripe.

TAMOPAN: Large, irregularly globed rounded, deep orange-red color, soft-ripe.

TANENASHI: Medium, cone-shaped, yellow-orange, early ripening, seed-less, more widely grown in the south eastern United States, soft-ripe.

DIOSPYROS virginiana is a cone shaped tree that grows to 35 to 60 feet tall and 20 to 30 feet wide. Its most common varieties are:

EARLY GOLDEN: Small round deep orange color, soft-ripe.

GARRETTSON: Small round deep orange color, soft-ripe.

KILLEN: Small round deep orange color, soft-ripe.

DIOSPYROS digyna: The black sapote, chocolate brown color, thin skinned, soft-ripe.

The genus diospyros also includes:

DIOSPYROS texana or Black Persimmon, an American native found in Texas.

DIOSPYROS lotus or Chinese date plum, small 1-inch dark brown fruit commonly used as root stock with it’s many branching roots. There is a compatibility problem between fuyu and D. lotus.

DIOSPYROS discolor: mabolo or velvet apple of Malaysia.

Nutritional Breakdown

Persimmon - One medium-size raw
118 Calories, 134.9g Water, 0.3g Fat, 168g Weight, 1.0g Protein, 31.2g Carbohydrate 13mg Vit.C, .03mg Vit.B-2, 13mcg. Folate, 3640 IU Vit.A, 0.5mg Vit.B-1, 0.2mg Niacin, 3mg Sodium, 13mg Calcium, 15mg Magnesium, .18mg Zinc,.596mg Manganese 270mg Potassium, 28mg Phosphorus, .26mg Iron, .190mg Copper.

Persimmon - One medium-size dried
93 Calories, 7.8g Water, 0.2g Fat, 34g Weight, 0.5g Protein, 25g Carbohydrate 0mg Vit.C, .01mg Vit.B-2, 190 IU Vit.A, 0 Vit.B-1, 0.1mg Niacin, 1mg Sodium, 8mg Calcium, 11mg Magnesium, .14mg Zinc, .473 mg Manganese, 273mg Potassium, 27mg Phosphorus, .25mg Iron, .150mg Copper.

 


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Firm-ripe Persimmons (Non-astringent)
(Excerpts from "Persimmons (Kaki) From Seed To Supper"
2nd Edition)

      The firm-ripe varieties of DIOSPYROS kaki, fuyu, giant fuyu, and jiro, can be eaten while still firm as you would an apple or sliced in a salad. Firm-ripe persimmons are medium sized, oval or squarish like a flattened apple or tomato; they range from pale orange to deep red-orange in color, and are non-astringent when firm-ripe.

      Harvest when the fruit is fully colored (see descriptions page 1). Be sure the color extends under the calyx up to the base of the stem. Clip each fruit from it’s branch leaving a short stem attached. Handle carefully to avoid bruising. Firm-ripe Persimmons stored in a cool, dark place, will keep for from two to four months.

     They are edible and delicious in their crisp firm state. However, they will have their best flavor if allowed to rest and soften slightly after harvest. 

     The edible skins tend to be tough. Remove the skins with a potato peeler or sharp thin knife. Or, blanch fruit in boiling water 2 to 3 minutes then dip them in cold water, as you would to peel a tomato. Slip off the skins when the fruit is cool enough to touch. Leave the skins intact if you intend to bake the entire fruit. Eventually, firm-ripe persimmons will become soft like the soft-ripe persimmons and are useable in any recipe calling for Persimmon pulp.

FUYU PERSIMMON
GRAPEFRUIT SALAD
 
  Cut  
1 Fuyu persimmon  
  in quarters. Place
 
4 grapefruit segments  
  between the quarters. Top center with a  
heaping teaspoon of mayonnaise.  
  Serve on a bed of  
salad greens.  

FUYU PERSIMMON
AVOCADO SALAD
 
  Alternate slices of  
Fuyu persimmon  
  and  
avocado  
  on a bed of
 
salad greens.  
  Dress with a light spray of  
lemon juice.  


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Soft-ripe Persimmons (Astringent)
(Excerpts from "Persimmons (Kaki) From Seed To Supper"
2nd Edition)

     The soft-ripe varieties of DIOSPYROS kaki, (Hachiya, Tanenashi, and Tamopan) DIOSPYROS virginiana, (Early Golden, Garrettson and Killen,) and DIOSPYROS digyna (the black sapote) must be soft before they are palatable. The fruit has a high tannin content which makes the immature fruit astringent and unpalatable. The tannin gradually disappears as the fruit matures. A ripe (soft-ripe) persimmon is like a thin skin full of thick jelly. Jelly ripe is prime condition. With further ripening, persimmons become more and more liquid, but, are still useable in baked goods until they turn brown.

      
Harvest soft-ripe fruit when they are fully colored (see descriptions page 1), but still firm. Be sure the color extends under the calyx up to the base of the stem. Handle carefully to avoid bruising. Clip each fruit from the branch leaving a short stem attached. Allow to ripen in a protected area away from the sun, or, proceed immediately with dehydration (see page 44).
 
PERSIMMON FRUIT SALAD
 
A ripe persimmon is like a thin skin full of jelly. The ìtonguesî, the undeveloped seeds, should be intact giving a definite taste of persimmon within the mix. This is a basic recipe. Use your favorite fruit for the rest of the salad.  
  In a salad bowl, coarsely chop  
1 apple,
1 banana and
1 orange.
 
  Add the pulp and pieces of  
1 persimmon  
  Mix and chill before serving.  
Makes 2 servings.  

PERSIMMON OATMEAL COOKIES
 
A very wholesome and tasty cookie  
  Preheat your oven to 350° F In a large-size bowl, cream  
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine with,
1 cup sugar.
 
  Push the creamed mixture aside and lightly beat  
1 egg  
  in the empty space. Combine with the creamed mixture. Add in.  
1 cup persimmon pulp.
 
  Sift together  
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaswpoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
and
1 teaspoon nutmeg.
 
  Add to the creamed mixture. Mix into a stiff batter. Fold in  
1 1/2 cups oatmeal (regular is best but instant will work) and
1/4 cup chopped walnuts.
 
  Drop by spoonfulls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350° F for 15 minutes.  

Makes 4 dozen cookies.

 


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Dehydrated Persimmons
(Excerpts from "Persimmons (Kaki) From Seed To Supper"
2nd Edition)

   Firm-ripe Persimmons can be dried when they are fully colored orange. Soft-ripe Persimmons must be dried when they are fully colored orange yet still hard and astringent. The drying process sweetens the Persimmons to chewy pieces of near candy.

AIR DRYING WHOLE PERSIMMONS
 

Leave a bit of the branch attached to the stem so as to form to cross bar of a ‘T’ when harvesting the fully colored but hard and astringent Persimmons. Break off the Calyx (the remaining leaves of the blossom) and peel the persimmon. Loop a piece of string around the base of the ‘T’ and tie the persimmons to a pole. Hang it in a dry spot with good air circulation. In Japan, Persimmons are woven into straw braids and hung under the eaves of homes. They should be ready to eat in four to six weeks. Large fruit takes longer. I select the smallest fruit for air drying.

      A more complex procedure is to watch until the persimmons turn brown. Start gently pinching the fruit to break up the pulp and promote even drying. Once the fruit becomes leathery, remove them from the strings. Heap them in a wax paper or plastic wrap lined box, fold over the wrap and close the box. They will turn white as the sweating sugar crystallizes on their surface.

 
 
PERSIMMON FRUIT ROLLS
 
A tasty and nutritious snack. Store in your refrigerator.   
 

In a blender to purée     

 
1 cup persimmon pulp with
1 tablespoon lime (or lemon) juice.
 
  Pour mixture onto the fruit roll tray of your dehydrator and dry according to the dehydrator instructions (Probably 6 to 8 hours at 100° F.)  

DEHYDRATOR PERSIMMONS
 

       Peel the fully colored yet still hard and astringent Persimmons and slice them into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Leave the rounds whole or cut each round in half. Lay the rounds or half rounds on your.dehydrator trays. Follow the manufacturers instructions (Probably 24 to 36 hours at 115° F).

       Use the stem and blossom end pieces for reconstituting in rum and baking. Save the succulent middle pieces for eating out of hand. They make a very tasty treat for any time, place or occasion.

 
     
Using Dried Persimmons
 
     
The drying process sweetens Persimmons to chewy pieces of near candy…so put them in a covered candy dish and have a far more healthy nibble than any confectioner ever devised. Drop some in your lunch bucket. Add them to your trail mix. Put some in a dish on your desk. Add them into cookies, cakes, puddings or cook some into oatmeal.  
     
RUM RECONSTITUTED PERSIMMON
 
     
Treat these bits with respect, they are potent until they are cooked. Rum reconstituted persimmon bits are a great additive to any recipe calling for dried fruit.
 
  Cut pieces of  
dried persimmons  
  into small bits with kitchen shears. Place the bits in a jar, cover with  
rum (your choice) and  
  soak 4 to 6 hours or overnight. The bits of persimmon will absorb rum and the rum will absorb sugar and flavor from the persimmons. Strain the persimmon bits for use in cookies, cakes or puddings.  
Reserve the flavored rum for...
 
     
PERSIMMON LIQUEUR
 
     

What a left over!
Filtered or unfiltered, the sweet persimmon flavored rum is delicious.  Chill it and serve in liqueur glasses

 


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Persimmon’s Progress
(from "Persimmons
(Kaki) From Seed To Supper"
2nd Edition )

A brief chronicle of one Hachiya Persimmon branch through one growing season.

Distilled from Persimmons, From Seed To Supper.

1 Fruiting wood forms in the buds of last years growth. The new shoots spring forth from their captive buds and spread their leaves to the sun. Blossom buds appear in the crotch or axial of the leaves starting with the 3rd or 4th leaves and proceeding to the terminal end of the shoot.

2. Blossoms set their fruit. The force of gravity begins to be evident as the branches start ever so gradually to bow over to the ground. By time the fruit is ripe many branches will have willowed over until they are hanging straight down.

3. Persimmons produce many blossoms and set up much more fruit than the tree could ever support. This excess fruit is dropped to the ground.   Sometimes it seems as if there will be nothing left on the tree. Fruit drop is often preceded by bud drop.

4. The fruit continues to develop. Excess fruit continues to drop. The tree more and more takes on a weeping willow shape as the branches bend under the weight of the developing fruit.

5. The fruit reaches its full size as its color changes to yellow then orange. A very pretty sight amongst their dark shining green leaves. The orange deepens and the leaves fall. Soon the near ripe persimmons are hanging on their bare branches, brilliant red-orange acorns in front of an azure blue sky.

6. Harvest fruit when they are fully colored, but still firm. Handle carefully to avoid bruising. Clip each fruit from the branch leaving a short stem attached. Allow to ripen in a protected area away from the sun. Harvest pruning (as shown here), removing shoots bearing fruit and leaving those without fruit, can aid in eliminating alternate year fruit crops.



Persimmons Contents
(Excerpts from "Persimmons (Kaki) From Seed To Supper"
2nd Edition)

Foreword
Persimmons
Cultivation
 
  Caring
Fruit Formation
Pests And Diseases
Harvest
Harvest Pruning
Tannin
Ready To Eat
Forced Ripening Astringency Removal
Forcing to Firm-Ripe
Forcing to Soft-Ripe
 
Nutritional Breakdown
Recipes
 
  Persimmon Tea  
Firm-ripe Persimmons, (Non-astringent)  
  Fuyu Persimmon Salad
Fuyu Persimmon Cheese Salad
Fuyu Persimmon And Avocado Salad
Fuyu Persimmon Orange Cup
Fuyu Persimmon And Grapefruit SalaFuyu Persimmon And Orange Salad
Persimmons With Rum
Fuyu Persimmon Bread Pudding
Fuyu Persimmon Pie
Pie Crust
Fuyu Persimmon Cobbler
Streusel Mix
 
Soft-ripe Persimmons, (Astringent)  
 

Avocado, Jicama And Citrus Salad With Hachiya Dressing
Hachiya Dressing
Persimmon Fruit Salad
Persimmon Mousse
Persimmon Parfait
Persimmon Ice Cream
Persimmon Sorbet
Persimmon Granita
Persimmon Sherbet
Persimmon Chill
Sherbet Iced Persimmons
Persimmon Log
Persimmon Coconut Bites
Persimmon Balls
Persimmon Soufflé
Persimmon Chiffon Pie
Persimmon Chiffon Pudding
Baked Graham Cracker Crust
Persimmon Custard Pie
Persimmon Glazed Pumpkin Cheese Pie
Persimmon Glaze
Persimmon Glazed Cheese Cake

 

  Persimmon Flan
Persimmon Brownies
Persimmon Apple Crumble
Persimmon Nut Bread
Persimmon Candied Fruit Bread
Persimmon Butter Tarts
Persimmon Oatmeal Cookies
Persimmon Oatmeal Nugget Cookies
Persimmon Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Persimmon Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies
Persimmon Oatmeal Apricot Cookies
Persimmon Cookies
Persimmon Nugget Cookies
Persimmon Walnut Cookies
Persimmon Mixed Fruit Cookies
Persimmon Ginger Cookie
Persimmon Coffee Cake
Persimmon Ginger Cake
Persimmon Apple Juice Cake
Persimmon Tube Cake
Persimmon Pudding Cake
Persimmon Rice Pudding
Persimmon Christmas Pudding
Persimmon Molasses, Beer and Vinegar
 
Preserving Persimmons  
  Freezing Persimmon Pulp
Freezing Whole Persimmons
Canning Persimmon Pulp
Persimmon Butter
Persimmon Ginger Preserves
 
Dehydrating Persimmons  
  Air Drying Whole Persimmons
Dehydrator Persimmons
Citrusimmons
Native America "Sugar Plums"
Persimmon Leathers
 
Sulfuring
Ascorbic Acid
Using Dried Persimmons
 
  Rum Reconstituted Persimmon
Persimmon Liqueur
 
Appendix  
  Persimmon Creamed Cheese Sauce
Persimmon Cottage Cheese Sauce
Flaming Brandy Sauce
Persimmon Whipped Cream
English Custard Sauce
Persimmon Icing
Lemon Curd
Hard Sauce
Hard Sauce With Rum
Candied Citrus Peel
 
Index  


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