Today we are going to learn how to make wild persimmon pulp. And yes, these instructions also apply to grocery-store non-wild persimmons!
Perhaps you’ve seen the beautiful persimmons at the grocery store and wondered, “OOO, so pretty, what could I make with them?” Well, a quick search reveals that most persimmon recipes call for persimmon pulp.
You won’t find a jar of persimmon pulp at the grocery store, so it’s up to you to make it. Thankfully, it is quite easy!
Are store-bought and wild persimmons the same?
They are both persimmons so yes; you can swap them interchangeably in recipes. Both kinds taste delightfully delicious when ripe!
The main difference is size.
Wild persimmons are much smaller and have HUGE seeds. In fact, the seed-to-pulp ratio may surprise you the first time you open up a wild persimmon.
You will also need to make sure that a wild persimmon is fully ripe before consuming. This means that the skin will be wrinkly and on the edge of spoiling with the appearance of over ripe!
Store-bought persimmons are larger, have smaller seeds, and won’t have to wait to the oh-no-is-this-too-ripe-now stage before eating. They are also quite pretty to look at and often are used in tablescape décor during special fall holidays.
Find wild persimmons before the squirrels do.
Last year, Dennis was excited to tell me that he found a wild persimmon tree on our property! It was still early in the season and they definitely were not ready to be picked. However, we did pick on early to open it up and see if the seeds were in the shape of “spoons” – an old timey indicator on whether the winter would be exceptionally long or not. (FYI, they were spoons and it WAS an exceptionally long winter!)
So, we let the fruit ripen… but the squirrels got them.
This year, we were ready! We gathered a ripe handful and marveled at their beauty!
As the days went by, we kept going back to see if we could beat the squirrels for the rest of the foraged bounty. We did. Barely, but we did!
Most persimmon recipes call for persimmon pulp.
I shared photos of that initial harvest on Instagram and asked my friends for suggestions on what to make with the yummy fruit.
Suggestions came pouring in… persimmon pudding, persimmon bread, and persimmon cookies. I decided to try the cookies… which meant that I first needed to make the pulp and freeze it for a later time when I could set aside time to make cookies.
Remove the flesh from the seeds.
Pick the persimmons when they are easy to pull off the tree. And then, let them sit until they are shriveled and mushy.
You will want to wash them gently (use a colander) and trim off the stems.
And now comes the tedious task! With a knife and a spoon, start cutting away the seeds from the flesh. Once you do this for a while, you’ll find yourself just using your fingers and the knife.
This “hands on” task for removing the seeds and extracting the pulp is for small batch only! This part takes a long time if you have quite the bounty and all I’m saying is that you’ll want to put a Hallmark Movie on to keep you occupied.
If you have a large harvest, I absolutely recommend that you use a food mill (full disclosure: this is my Amazon Affiliate link) at this point and set the large-holed filter on. It will make quick work of separating the pulpy flesh.
Hang in there, because it will be worth it! I promise!
Pulse the flesh to make the pulp.
Once all the seeds are separated from the flesh, it’s time to make the pulp!
It’s as simple as adding the fleshy inside to a food processor and pulsing until a smooth consistency. Some people like to push the processed pulp through a sieve to get it as pure as possible without any skin bits or small seed bits remaining.
As a point of reference, about seventy wild persimmons make just a little over two cups of pulp!
Save and share those seeds!
Simply wash the seeds and dry thoroughly.
I am in a seed/plant-sharing group, so I like to share seeds of plants or trees that I find here and there. If you’re interested in wild persimmon seeds, drop me a comment with your email so I can get in touch with you and send you some!
So… who’s ready to make something with persimmons?
Wild Persimmon Pulp
- 70 wild persimmons
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Rinse persimmons in water using colander and let drip dry.
- Remove stems and slice in half. Scoop out seeds using knife and pointed spoon (I use a grapefruit spoon with serrated edges). Reserve flesh.
- Place flesh in a blender and puree using pulse button.
- To store in freezer: Mix one-cup with one-teaspoon of lemon juice and store in freezer-safe container.
- To store in refrigerator: Mix one-cup with one-teaspoon of lemon juice and store in air-safe container for 2-3 days.