Saturday, November 21, 2009



When we first looked at our little house, the backyard was an overgrown tangle, in which some non-gardener had tried to clear a path. The fruit trees had been brutally butchered.

Nevertheless, Robb and I were really excited at the prospect of buying a house with a (tiny) mature orchard. The thought of eating home-grown fruit seemed utterly delightful.

As I said, the garden itself had been terribly neglected. The persimmon tree was very unhealthy, and dropped unripe fruit pretty much every day. I wasn't sure there would be anything left on the tree to ripen. Robb and I cobbled together some scaffold, for the weirdly over-laden branches, hoping that they wouldn't snap under the weight of the fruit.

And now, we're harvesting persimmons. Yesterday, we had a very windy rainstorm, and most of the leaves blew off the tree, leaving behind the gleaming persimmons. These are beautiful trees in the winter, leafless with uncanny orange fruits.

We have a Fuyu persimmon, which has the texture of a ripe apple. This is not one of the types that has to ripen to the consistency of mush, in order to be palatable. We like to eat this one sliced, with a bit of lemon juice squeezed on it. We baked a persimmon-date upside cake last night, and although we both thought it was way too sweet, and lacked "brightness," we'll try the recipe again with some adjustments. (We're interested in what blog readers do with this fruit.)

Clearly, we're not the only ones who enjoy persimmons. Last week, I found a half-eaten persimmon, stashed by a squirrel on a branch of our mulberry tree. And over the last few days, I've enjoyed watching Yellow-Rumped Warblers eating persimmons. Since we have more fruit than we know what to do with, and since the animals don't have the bad habit of taking one bite out of each persimmon, we are happy to share.


Becky said...

How nice to have some trees with some age in your possession! This house was just meant to be for you two.

My mom's friend Susan makes a Persimmon Pudding with Vanilla Sauce every Christmas. It's made in a Santa mold and set alight for a bit. It's absolutely delicious. I can't get a hold of her for the recipe, but here's one that looks similar. It's just fabulous; it's smooth and cakey and not too sweet.

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

This calls for "pulp" but our persimmons are quite firm?


Anonymous said...

It is very interesting for me to read the post. Thanks for it. I like such themes and everything that is connected to them. I would like to read a bit more soon.

Anonymous said...

In Pennsylvania, I'm not sure we even have persimmons here! I have not even knowingly eaten one- do they make a good jelly? Could I have a jar of it for Christmas one year?

If you can freeze them, I suggest you get a good freezer one day, (or year) and load it up! Ours is full of concord and red grapes for wine, as well as raspberries, (also for wine.) We figured wine making is in our future.

Our first year a big windstorm blew many branches off our walnut trees, and we had a great crop. This year they were not "thinned out" and are not so great. I see a book about fruit tree trimming in your future- I trimmed off 80% of our grape vines and we got fabulous grapes this year!


Kim said...

I eat 'em raw and sliced. Elissa posted a persimmon jam recipe on her blog today (yesterday?) though, and it looks mighty tasty!

John and Diane said...

My friend Joe also makes a great persimmon pudding. I would take your firm pulp and throw it in a food processor or blender, that would mush it up nicely I would think!
Happy holidays!

K said...

When I lived in Japan we would take very ripe persimmons, or kaki, and freeze them. Then, cut them open and eat with a spoon. It's absolutely heavenly.


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