This week, after a shopping expedition, Mandy brought back a case of persimmons to the office. There were mixed reactions as people walked by and peered at or poked the bright orange tomato-like globes lying on the kitchen counter. Carl declared he is not a fan and cautioned not to eat the tannic and bitter skin. Ty munched through an entire fruit and thought it was delicious. Mandy started dicing up persimmons, her mind set on turning her fruit purchase into a Martha Stewart-inspired bread pudding recipe she had been hanging on to.
The kind of persimmons Mandy bought is the "Fuyu" variety, short and squat in the looks department and not nearly as tannic or bitter as Carl declared they would be. He was perhaps remembering other varieties of persimmons he'd tried from the past. Different varieties offer slightly varying taste characteristics. Persimmons come in seeded and seedless varieties. And some are bred or treated to remove the tannin from that outer skin. Many appear in Alaska markets from time to time, but most often you will find Fuyus.
So -- what to do with a persimmon? A great go-to recipe, if it can be called that, is to half-freeze persimmons until they are cold and slushy. Cut the tops off and spoon out the flesh. It's a delicious (and addictive) frozen treat often described as sorbet-like. Some people wash and leave the skin on. Others carefully peel the skin before eating. That's up to you.
For our recipe, we started with some good Alaska sourdough bread cubes. We didn't have day-old bread that's perfect for bread pudding, so we toasted our cubes in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees. We tossed the persimmons with lemon, spices, and apples and threw the entire mixture into a medium baking dish. Next, we made a quick custard ...