How to Use Persimmons for Baking

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Persimmons are an unsung jewel of fall and winter fruits, with their bright orange skin and sweet, rich flavor. There are two varieties commercially available, including smaller, rounder Fuyu persimmons, which have a crisp texture and are best used raw. Hachiya persimmons, distinguished by their heart shape, are a better choice for baking. Avoid ruining your recipe with the sharp, acidic flavor of unripe persimmons, by allowing the fruit to ripen slowly at room temperature. Once your persimmons are ripe, you’re ready to start baking.

Buy persimmons that feel heavy for their size and have dark, shiny skin without any cracks or blemishes. Ideally, all four of the persimmon's leaves should be green and attached.

Place your persimmons upside down on the counter or another spot where they'll be out of your way while they ripen. Let them sit at room temperature until they are very soft. This may take several days or up to several weeks.

Remove the persimmons' leaves and skin using a sharp knife. Transfer the fruit to a bowl and lightly mash it, checking for any seeds before mashing it thoroughly with a masher or a fork. Alternatively, you can puree the persimmons using a food processor or a blender.

Mix the persimmon puree with the rest of your ingredients. You can follow an established recipe, or experiment by adding persimmon puree to your favorite recipe for cookies, cakes, pies, breads or pudding.