Persimmon trees are native to China and deciduous, with broad, stiff leaves. These trees were later introduced to California and southern Europe in the 1800s.
They belong to the same genus as ebony trees, but persimmon tree wood has limited use in the manufacture of objects requiring hard wood. It is hard, but cracks easily and is somewhat difficult to process. Persimmon wood is used for paneling in traditional Korean and Japanese furniture.
There are two varieties of persimmons, Fuyu and Hachiya. The type I have is the Hachiya, which is used mostly for baking breads, pies and cookies. They are ready for picking at the end of November or early December. Persimmons like Hachiya, must be completely ripened before consumption. When ripe, this fruit comprises thick pulpy jelly encased in a waxy thin skinned shell. To me, it tastes a bit like pumpkin.
So, since picking all of the persimmons off of our tree, I've been able to prepare at least 8 bags of persimmon pulp, just waiting to be made into delicious cookies! Thanks to a family recipe (which I will share, 'cause you're THAT special), you too can enjoy them! If you don't have a persimmon tree or know someone who does, you can grab some at your local grocery store this time of year. They aren't cheap though....they are selling for $2.99 each at mine! Check out the crop I had this year-took forever to pick them all.....but worth it!
Here's the Persimmon Cookie recipe! Again, make sure your persimmons are SUPER mushy (almost rotten) before getting the pulp out. The recipe calls for 1 cup of pulp, which is about 3 persimmons. Use the toothpick test after 10 minutes of baking.