• Ken Ilgunas

Persimmon pudding


There may be no fruit tastier than the American persimmon. Last year I tried one when walking around a friend’s property in North Carolina, where wild persimmon trees volunteered.


When gathering, the trick is to wait for the persimmons to turn purple and a bit shriveled. Shake the tree; the ripe ones will fall to the ground. The unripened ones, which cling to branches, taste waxy and will dry your mouth out.


I once heard someone describe a ripe persimmon as a cross between a dried fig and a ripe peach. That’s as good as I can describe it. It’s dessert without any baking.


But you can bake it! As you’ll see in the video, I picked a batch and my friend made a persimmon pudding, which is kind of like a cake, fudge, pudding, and pancake all at once, resembling the taste and texture of a pumpkin pie. We finished 3/4ths of it in one sitting.


From Wikipedia: "Diospyros virginiana is a persimmon species commonly called the American persimmon, common persimmon, eastern persimmon, simmon, possumwood, possum apples, or sugar plum. It ranges from southern Connecticut to Florida, and west to Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Iowa. The tree grows wild but has been cultivated for its fruit and wood since prehistoric times by Native Americans."