When M gifted me the large bag of persimmons my mind drew a blank as to how I might use them other than munching as for an apple. On reflection I realised other options existed. My excitement grew as I began to experiment. This blog post presents an alcoholic beverage (yes it was time for a drink!), a dessert and a Asian flavoured stir fry.
Experimenting with alcohol
After eating so much persimmon raw and cooked in so many ways in past days, I felt that mint and persimmon would work well together. To this end I mashed half a raw persimmon then a decent handful of mint leaves with a pestle in the mortar. These went into a jar and were covered liberally with Lawrenny’s Tasmanian Vodka, and left to sit. To infuse.
I now realise that, as bright and vibrant as the orange skin of the fruit is, the persimmon flesh is much paler by comparison and will inevitably look dull in any clear fluid. Already I could see my error and lack of foresight: the green and orange colours of the additional ingredients melded to a murky bottom-of-the -pond green.
Oh dear – not another unappetising looking outcome! I will try out this beverage in a darkened room alone. You can relax: this will not be offered to guests.
I now realise that, as bright and vibrant as the orange skin of the persimmon is, the flesh is much paler by comparison and will inevitably look dull in any clear fluid
Perhaps I should have checked online for recipes before stumbling through my own concoctions. If I had done so, then I would have found a Persimmon and Vodka Cocktail here, an extraordinary protein enhanced Thanksgiving Persimmon Cocktail and a Persimmon Cocktail with Caramelised Persimmon Puree which all sound delicious.
I noted online recipes also explain how to make persimmon wine.
POSTSCRIPT: After a week I sampled my new concoction. While, as previously mentioned, the appearance was unappetising, I found the flavour enjoyable. It was fruity without being able to identify the fruit as persimmon. It wasn’t particularly sweet but the juicy morsels of fruit were a delight to chew softly and let dissolve in the mouth. The slightest hint of mint gave a pleasant extra flavour. However, I felt shocked by the sense of increased alcohol and can only think the sugars in the persimmon began to break down and raise the alcohol level from that of the vodka. Overall, despite wishing to guzzle because of the great taste, I needed to sip my persimmon drink in small doses because of the alcoholic content. I expect to enjoy this tipple over the weeks to come.
Nevertheless, unless you want to drink alone, please forget my experiment because of the appearance, check online recipes with the spirit of your choice, then use those that have flair and look great. Happy drinking!
Recently another blog post explained how I make crumble desserts. I followed the same process but used persimmon instead of apple and rhubarb. That is, the fruit was stewed to soften and placed in a baking bowl, a mix of oatmeal, cinnamon, honey, salt, olive oil, and almond milk was spread across the bowl and then placed in a hot oven.
Over half an hour at 180 degrees the topping cooked and crisped.
The result made great eating.
Persimmon and ginger with a rice and vegetable stir fry
This dish was accompanied by a serve of brown rice which took 30 minutes to cook. During that time I chopped and cooked vegetables together with the persimmon. There was a little of a lot included for a colourful and nutritious mix. Brussel sprouts, celery, red capsicum, broccoli, onion, zucchini, mushroom, olive oil, low salt vegetable stock, Chinese five spice, slices of fresh ginger, and a sliced persimmon.
To add protein I stirred through some peanut butter and this blended with the leaching flavours of the quickly cooked vegetables . The result was a sublime rich sauce.
I loved the freshness of the vegetables enhanced by the slight sweetness of the persimmon, and uplifted by the ginger.
Undoubtedly with more thought and time, additional recipes could be created or sourced. After these five blog posts, I urge you to be open minded when non-astringent persimmons come your way. Of course you can choose to eat as you would an apple, however now you know there are ways you can cook, preserve and store them. I will be happy to hear about your Tasmanian experiments – email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
From that very large bag of persimmons only six plump fruit remain after all the recipes and experiments. I never wanted to waste them and all the final collection will be eaten. Meanwhile the stir-fry vegetables and rice with the non-astringent persimmon and sliced ginger will the one I will repeat most often. I may even cook it again today!