A few years ago, I had a fruit emergency. To you it might not seem that urgent, but it was springtime and I was finishing a book and needed to retest a recipe that called for persimmon puree, which I wanted to give it one last try before it went to the printer. Persimmons are fall fruits and it’s impossible to find them outside of their season. As much as I searched and searched and searched, there were none to be found.
So I started keeping an emergency bag of persimmon puree in my freezer at all times. I don’t know why, because I haven’t had a persimmon emergency since them (but ya never know!) and I try to buy them fresh whenever I can.
Persimmons are some of the most beautiful fruits I know of. The glossy orange orbs remind me of a Japanese painting, and in fact, persimmon trees – once all the leaves drop off – resemble sparse nature drawings of prints, with bright orange fruits hanging off spindly dark branches.
The Japanese dry persimmons, called Hoshigaki. I’ve never tried my hand at them, but I was excited to come across this recipe for Persimmon Margaritas, in My Bueno, a terrific book of Mexican specialties culled from three generations of Mexican cooks. It’s a cocktail that combines my two of my favorite things: fresh fruit and tequila.
To prepare persimmon puree from a Hachiya persimmon (the ones shown above), when they are squishy soft (like a water balloon ready to burst) pull out the stem/leave, split the persimmon in two, and scoop out the pulp with a spoon. Pass the puree through a food mill or puree it in a blender or food processor. If using a Fuyu persimmon, which are firm, even when ripe, cut away the stem end, and peel the fruit like an apple. Cut the flesh into cubes and puree in a blender or food processor.
Related Recipes and Links
Cranberry Margaritas (Leite’s Culinaria)
Persimmon Pudding (Simply Recipes)