Persimmons- Diospyros kaki- may be native to China, but lately California’s persimmons are all the rage. Hot summers help bring deep flavor to this berry, usually the size of an apricot. Light yellows to dark orange-reds, the entire fruit is edible except for the seed and calyx (little knob where the fruit was attached to the tree).
There are many uses for persimmons, which are commonly in season from October through February, from puddings to chutneys, but these cookies are perfect for sharing around the holiday season.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 egg
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup hachiya persimmon pulp (about 4 persimmons)
- 1 cup raisins, I prefer golden
- 1 cup walnuts, optional
Oven Temperature: 375 degrees
Combine all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside. Cream together the shortening and the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the egg, beat until well combined on medium speed. Add the dry ingredients and the persimmon pulp alternately to the shortening mixture. Mix until combined. Add raisins and nuts. Stir on low speed. Drop by tablespoonfuls on to a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.
Persimmons: There are two different type of persimmons. The hachiya which is predominantly used for baking and the fuyu for eating. When you are selecting the hachiya persimmon make sure that it is very soft. If there is any firmness at all freeze them for a couple of days. When they thaw they will be soft enough to use. In order to puree the pulp pull the green blossom off the top of the persimmon and scoop the contents into a food processor or blender. Feel through the pulp for any seeds, remove and process the persimmon pulp until smooth.