Persimmons are a Japanese fruit that are the size of a medium tomato. Their skin becomes bright orangey pink before they are fully ripe, so the key to knowing if a persimmon is ripe is in the feel. My two persimmons were sitting the fruit bowl quietly ripening for two weeks before I knew they were ready. They began to feel like the thin, shiny skin was the only thing stopping the fruits losing their shape. It was as if the insides of the persimmons were thick jelly. The fruit becomes exceptionally soft when ready--don't eat them any earlier.
Fortunately I had waited long enough. The flesh was bright orange and pink and slid out easily with a spoon. It only took a single pulse of the blender to make a runny pulp. Simply in Season said they would make a nice smoothie, of which I have no doubt. The pulp was very sweet and would be lovely with a banana, some nutmeg, and maybe a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. But these persimmons were for cookies.
Simply in Season (World Community Cookbook) is a cookbook arranged by the seasons. It was commissioned by the Mennonite Central Committee, the same group behind More-with-Less Cookbook, an environmentally conscious cookbook well ahead of its time (it was published in 1976). More-with-Less and Simply in Season are two of my most used and trusted cookbooks. The persimmon puree provided a sweet base for these moist autumnal cookies, which had more dominant flavours of nutmeg and cloves. The crunchy pecan pieces and soft raisins make each bite interesting.
adapted from Simply in Season (World Community Cookbook)
makes 3 - 4 dozen small cookies
1 c sugar
1/2 c butter or margarine, softened
1 c persimmon puree (from 2 persimmons)
2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/2 t ground cloves
1/2 c pecans or other nuts, chopped
1/4 c raisins
Preheat the oven to 375 F/190 C.
Cream together the sugar and butter.
Blend in the persimmon puree and egg.
In a second bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and spices. Add gradually to the persimmon mixture, blending well.
Stir in the pecans and raisins. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking trays.
Bake for 7 - 9 minutes.