{the farmwives kitchen} american persimmon

IMG_8110The persimmons are ripening. Each day more fall to the ground and wait to be collected by my family or scavenged by the wild critters that I have to compete with for this very special wild fruit. The delicious American persimmon has come to be my favorite of all the native fruits. If you have never had one, I’m afraid to say that I wholeheartedly believe you are missing out. The trees are not at all hard to grow, and in fact can often be found growing at roadsides and neglected patches of ground, and of course in these eastern deciduous forests that I so happily inhabit. In fact, on the drive home from our vacation, we stopped at a gas station in Alabama and there at the edge of the parking lot was a laden persimmon tree. My family had a nice little snack before continuing our drive. (Should you be interested in trying to plant a persimmon cultivar, check out our nearby Hidden Springs Nursery.)IMG_8102Over the years, we have been selectively allowing wild persimmon saplings to take hold in our pastures. Not only will these trees provide shade for our livestock, they will provide food for my family and the domestic and wild critters that we share this farm with.IMG_8108One of my favorite culinary things to do with persimmons, aside from just eating them, is to run them through our small hand-cranked food mill. This separates the pulp from the seeds leaving me with a gorgeously thick, de-seeded pile of persimmon pulp that can be used in so many delectable ways. I will then put the pulp into containers for freezing and later use. Then, when the pulp is just starting to freeze but not yet solid, I will take a heaping tablespoon and add it to a mug or small glass of cream. Add a slug of maple syrup and a teaspoon of cocoa powder. Stir all of this together and enjoy an incredibly quick dessert. One that I’m pretty sure you won’t ever forget!IMG_8093IMG_8095We will also spread persimmon pulp on our sourdough pancakes and top with a drizzle of maple syrup for a supreme breakfast. (I’m really wanting to make acorn pancakes for this breakfast, but that is quite a process and will have to be in another post!) We have even made lacto-fermented chutneys by adding the pulp to chopped onions and apples! The persimmon-y possibilities are endless!!!IMG_8096After running the persimmons through the food mill, one is left with a pile of seeds that still have quite a bit of pulp adhering to them. Because this fruit is so precious to me, I cannot abide any waste! So I put the seeds into a large jar or crock, add some honey and water, and start a batch of persimmon mead!

So, friends, it is my supreme hope that you all have persimmon trees ripe and ready for the picking… if not, come on over! There’s a persimmon party just waiting to be had!!!IMG_8105

12 thoughts on “{the farmwives kitchen} american persimmon

    • Laying out a tarp is an excellent idea… we do that with acorns sometimes. And awesome that you found a pawpaw heaven. Divine. As for milk, dear friend, we are really only getting enough for the two households on the farm as it goes right now. Let me know if you need a hook-up with another source…

  1. Yep. We’re in the thick of things right now too in SW central Indiana. Gotta figure out which pudding recipe is my favorite this year. We’ve tried so many and they’re all different.

  2. Will they grow out here? Jim planted a persimmon after the fire that produces large lovely fruits for them. I never see a pomegranate that I don’t think of you and that beautiful holiday bowl topped with pomegranate jewels.
    Sending love to you and your beautiful dreams realized!

    • Hey there dear Annie!!! So grand to hear from you! Eric told me there was a facebook message from you, but I don’t get on facebook and just had not yet had Eric show me how to reply. (I know, I’m very archaic!) Oh, I think of you and the rest of my dear California family frequently! Please email me sometime, I would love to hear your news… has it really been fifteen years? Oh, my.
      I’m not sure if the American persimmon would grow out there. I imagine it requires a certain amount of winter dormancy, and where you are might be too warm. Totally not sure.
      Sending you so much love,

  3. We had wild persimmon trees on our farm in Texas growing up. You are right, there is nothing like them. My mother made persimmon wine. Yum, but persimmon mead sounds more my thing.

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