In early Fall when the persimmons start dropping, the outdoor world goes wild for them. There is almost nothing out there that will not eat ripe persimmons, including my dogs. If I am picking them up, I have to be quick or my “hound dogs” will get them before I do.
Persimmons are so easy to cook, or even eat raw, that many recipes have been developed for them. With soft, ripe persimmons all that needs to be done is to mash them through a sieve to remove the seed and rime, mix them with nuts and raisins (or almost anything else), add a little flour for thickening, chill, boil to kill any bacteria and you have a pudding.
The pudding can be enriched by adding an egg, and if you want perhaps a little sugar substitute. Some added sweetner in the way of sugar, honey or dried fruit is needed with the large Japanese persimmons which are seedless, big and not nearly as tasty as our wild products. Add two eggs, more flour, put into a crust and you have a persimmon pie. The problem is finding enough wild persimmons to do it.
On the Georgia coast there are
persimmon trees that are nearly two feet in diameter and as tall as a two-story house. Most of the trees that we now have in the Southeast are growing in over-cut lands and are much smaller. After storms, deer go from tree to tree to see if any “deer candy” has fallen. The seeds show prominently in their droppings when they are feeding on the fruit.
I gather some persimmons and freeze them. When I deer hunt I spread a persimmon mush on nearby trees as a scent attractant.
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