It’s definitely fall here in Santa Cruz- although it’s the start of winter in much of the country. Here we don’t get the glorious fall colors of my native Ohio, but we do get gloriously colored fall produce, like the Persimmons. You probably know there are at least two common varieties of this fruit—Fuyu, which can be eaten right away, and Hiyachi, which need to be completely ripe and mushy before eating or cooking in most ways (otherwise they are very astringent, due to their tannin content). However, there’s a great way to use either of these persimmon varieties, especially when not quite ripe- dried persimmons! That’s the beauty of drying persimmons—it’s actually better when they’re firm. And the astringency somehow goes away.
It’s quite easy—just slice them, put the slices on cookie racks, bake slowly, and Voila—A yummy and healthy snack! Rick also discovered that the dried fruit can be added to hot tea- another delicious way to enjoy them.
Persimmons- any variety, especially when still firm; (one tip- drying persimmons takes a lot more than you think- they do dry up!)
Spray oil (your choice- I use TJ’s spray canola oil)
Baking racks- such as for cooling cookies
Cookie baking pans (optional)–you can put the baking racks on top of the cookie sheets/pans if you like, or add the baking racks directly on your standard oven racks.
TO DO ( preheat oven to 180-200 degrees F
1. Cut off stems and Slice persimmons approx. 1/4” thick
2. Spray baking racks lightly with oil
3. Lay persimmon slices on racks so that each slice is touching the rack
4. Bake for 1 1/2 —2hrs. , check if no longer sticky. If they are, bake for another 1/2 hr. (another method is to bake in 100 degree oven overnight- I discovered this by accident as the oven was still hot and I’d left the racks in overnight. I’ve had success with both methods).
A cup of tea with persimmons in it.