I had never tried a Persimmon until four years ago (I’m obviously not from California) at a community garden where I was volunteering. It was of an astringent variety, Hachiya, and it wasn’t ripe yet. It was terribly bitter and it made my mouth feel weird, so I concluded that I just didn’t like them. Then about three years ago my housemate dried some Fuyus for Christmas gifts. They were amazing and sweet like candy—even better than dried mangos.
This year I really wanted to make dried Persimmons for Christmas gifts like my past housemate did. I tried some Hachiyas at my friend’s house (we thought they were ripe – we even YouTubed it) and they still tasted terrible to me. I then learned that Fuyus don’t have the astringent quality, you can eat them before they are soft and actually should slice them for drying while they are still firm. So I set out to the farmers market on a mission to find a good deal on a gaggle of Fuyus. Low and behold I did… $1.75 a pound, and I also got directions from the farmer on how to dry them.
Farmers markets are awesome, did I mention that?
I got home with my bounty and proceeded to wash, dry and slice my ripe but firm Persimmons.
Then I tried a fresh Fuyu Persimmon for the first time. Absolutely divine! They are super sweet and practically melt in your mouth, no astringent qualities at all. The skins have some tannins, but nothing like the Hachiya. I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on this wonderful seasonal fruit for so long! I think I’ll go back this weekend and get more…
How to dry Fuyu Persimmons
Select fruit that is still firm.
Wash and dry your fruit.
The calyx will not pop off easily on this variety at this stage of ripeness, so use a knife to cut it off with a circular motion.
Then slice into 1/4″ or so slices. There is no core in Persimmons, which makes prep super easy.
Then place your sliced fruit on the dehydrator trays, keeping the slices from overlapping.
Stack your trays, spacing for airflow and start dehydrating! After 7-8 hours, you’ll want to check and rotate your trays because the ones on the bottom will dry faster. At this point, check every hour or so, removing fruit as it reaches dryness.
Dehydrators will probably vary. I have a dinosaur, so mine took almost 24 hours. The farmer at the market told me hers takes 12-15 hours. Check your dehydrator manual and go from there.
Enjoy some of nature’s best candy… and happy holidays!