How to Harvest, Eat and Prepare Persimmon Fruit for Preserves and Cooking

chevalita Member
By chevalita
User-Submitted Article
(2 Ratings)
Beautiful American Persimmon
The Beautiful American Persimmon

The American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) is a tree that produces a small orangey-red fruit, related to apples, that ripens after the first frost. They taste sweet and mild with a hint of something like cinnamon. The persimmon tree is native to Kentucky, Tennessee, The Virginias and surrounding states. Below you will find the steps to select and prepare Persimmons to eat.


  1. Step 1

    Selecting and Picking Persimmons:

    Pick your persimmons after the first frost when they have matured to a full orangey color and are soft like a plum. Persimmons are ripe when they fall from the tree. So when I say pick, I pick up off the ground.

    Be careful harvesting them they are very soft. The best solution is a wide, shallow tray. I have also heard of people collecting fruit into a bucket of water. The water cushions the delicate fruit and cleans it at the same time. The only drawback is it can be very heavy and you may slosh water around, which can make a cold day, even colder when you are out harvesting.

    Discard fruit that has broken open or is still hard. Unripe fruit is highly astringent and unpleasant. Damaged fruit will start molding and fermenting quickly, so best to leave those on the ground.

  2. Step 2

    Cleaning and Preparing Persimmon Fruit:

    Wash the fruit gently in cool water. Pull off the cap on the top, or cut it off with a knife. Cut out any damaged areas with a knife. You can eat the fruit fresh like you would a plum or you make a pulp to use for cooking baking and preserving.

  3. Step 3

    Preparing Persimmons Pulp:

    Cut the fruit into quarters and using your hands gently mash the fruit in a colander. The peel and the seeds should stay behind and the pulp will pass through.

  4. Step 4
    Persimmons Cookies
    Persimmons Cookies

    Cooking and Baking with Persimmons Pulp:

    The pulp is delicious and can be used in many dishes such as: Persimmons Jam, Persimmons Preserves, Persimmons Sauce, Persimmons Vinegar, Persimmons Coffee Cake and Persimmons Pudding.

    In the resource section below you will find a link to persimmon recipes and a link to my Grandmother In-laws Persimmon Cookies.

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