Each fall, a former client brings me loads of persimmons from her very large and very old persimmon tree.
Not only are they beautiful, but they provide my family with a season’s worth of the yummiest cookies.
Most people don’t really know what to do with Hachiya persimmons as their previous experiences usually involve biting into a firm one (thinking its the flatter Fuyu variety that you can just directly chomp into for a delicious snack) and suffering one of the worst puckery moments of their lives!
But these persimmons are actually really wonderful to eat when left to soften. In fact, the squishier they get, the better they are for baking. My grandmother used to let them ripen until super soft, then put them in the freezer for about an hour and a half. She’d take them out, cut off the top of the persimmon and scoop out the semi-frozen insides with a spoon.
Here’s a cookie recipe that’s been in my family for generations. (Warning: they’re addictive!)
JoEllen’s Persimmon Cookies
1 c. persimmon pulp (let the persimmon soften until really squishy then scoop out the pulp)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. shortening
1/4 c. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1 beaten egg
2 c. flour
1 c. chopped walnuts
1 c. raisins
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. each cloves and nutmeg
1. Mix baking soda into the pulp & let sit for 5 minutes (kids like this part – wait 5 mins & see why!)
2. Cream together sugar, egg, shortening and butter
3. Add persimmon & baking soda mixture to the above and mix until creamy
4. Add in flour, spices, nuts and raisins and mix by hand
5. Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 375 for 12-15 minutes until lightly browned.
6. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.