Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dried Persimmons Progress Report #2

I am posting the images of air drying HACHIYA (astringent, cone shaped) Persimmons from Day 1 through Day 13. I think the drying process maybe much faster in California, U.S.A. because of the humidity difference between US and Asia.   If the normal air drying of persimmons take 6 to 8 weeks than mine is drying super fast, but of course, there are other factors to consider.   I only have 11 hanging persimmons, one persimmon per string vs strands and strands of persimmons being air dried.   Hope this images will help any new persimmon enthusiasts on  "How to Dry Persimmons" or "What to do with HACHIYA Persimmons".  So this is how they would look air drying persimmons.  (Please read The Fall Jewel - Persimmons (Dried KAKI)  for "how to prepare" in my previous blogs.)
(Double click on the image to view vimage in larger size.)



Saturday, November 14, 2009

FUYU Bundt Cake

FUYU Persimmons are our favorites or any of the non-astringent crunchy type persimmons are.  The best one to bite into is the Giant FUYU KAKI.  Love the crunchy and sweet taste and interesting level of textures in one fruit.  And we love the beautiful orange color in the autumn.
I came across this recipe from
I find it interesting that FUYU persimmons are used rather than the cone shaped astringent type for baking. But I jump right into and tested it.  The bundt cake came out beautifully.  I think it tasted better on the 2nd day.
My variation to this recipe is that I used 4 tsp of lemon juice rather than 2.  (I didn't want to waste the extra two tsp of fresh lemon juice that I got from the lemon in my garden.)


Persimmon Oatmeal Cookies

While researching about 'how to dry persimmons' on the net, I came across persimmon cookies recipe at this site.  I am not going to print it here as it is not my recipe.  But here is the site address:  and you can get much more interesting facts on persimmons than mine.
For this recipe, 1 cup of fully ripened persimmon pulp was used.  My taste test on this is that I don't really taste the persimmons in it.  I taste more of the oatmeal and spices than persimmons in it.
Perhaps, cutting down on the oatmeal entirely or measure down to 2/3 or 1/2 or 3/4 Cup would do.
Only testing would tell.  But it is a good recipe to start my adventure with baking with HACHIYA persimmons.

Modification in the recipe of mine included the following ingredients:
1 tsp Vanilla
3 Shakes of Chili Pepper Flakes
a Couple of shakes of Lemon Zest ... about 1/8 tsp but could have used 1 tsp of fresh lemon zest.

The Fall Jewel - Dried Persimmon Progress Report

I thought it may be interesting to note the progress at which the cone shaped astringent type persimmons were getting their dehydration -- in my garage.  I still have the concern with birds in the backyard and pollution in the air, so I have not built this dehydration tree using dowels that I got.  I need to do that, however, since I will be cropping a lot more persimmons today.
So Day 1 and and Day 2 images of persimmons show the varied degrees of moisture loss.
Outer fresh starting to look dry.
I decided to "massage" one of them as described in the process at some of the Japanese website regarding drying persimmon - HOSHIGAKI.
The experience is interesting enough to say, if you have not tried it - you should to understand what I am talking about.
At first, the persimmon felt like a unripe Avocado.  But as you start to gently squeeze a bit, you will feel the inner membrane move around.  Then, you gently massage a bit more without making any break on the outer fresh, and you are done.  According to some Japanese website related to drying persimmons, they do this daily.  Surely, the persimmon that I massage got orangish ripening look the next day more than the others.  So, I decided to massage everyone.  (with gloves, of course for the food service type.)
By 5th day, this morning, when I checked, the outer fresh is quite leathery.  They have lost 60% of the moisture.

3:30 pm 11/14/09 - Found out why the 'massaging' of hang drying persimmons are beneficial.
I just so happen to go through garage in the afternoon and found these persimmon's colors are different then in the morning around 9 am.  They look more orangish.  I think the massage has brought the moisture - the 'juice' to the surface.

Also, here is photos of whole and halved ripened astringent type persimmons that were dried in the dehydrator.  Tasted awesomely delicious.  I only got three left.  Others, I made Persimmon - FUYU Bundt Cake (FUYU non-astringent type) and Persimmon Cookies (astringent type).   I will post those later tonight.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009


After looking into how Astringent type Persimmons were prepared traditionally, I decided to try it myself.  It just so happen that my relative has a persimmon tree, but it is not the FUYU KAKI (persimmons) that we like, but the large cone shaped Astringent type persimmons.  They adorn the beautiful autumn's blue sky view at dusk.  I always wondered if anyone ever got hit on the head by one of those cone shaped persimmons that no one seems to care to enjoy it as much as other non-astringent type persimmons.  My mother remembered those persimmons and wanted to check right into how to dehydrate them.  It brings back the fond memory of 'HOSHIGAKI' (dried KAKI) we used to enjoy in Japan.  Why not make our own?  but how?  what are those 'white' powdery stuff that we always see covering the dried persimmon?  do we need to use sulfur?
Thank goodness to the Internet information access.  We soon got immersed with the How To's of drying the HACHIYA (astringent) type persimmon to one of favorites.  According to several websites, astringent type persimmons start to lose its 'tannin' content as it ripes -- as it ripes, it releases the CO2 and tannin disappears as well.  I do not know the exact chemistry on this, but I trusted it.  But I can't wait for 100's of this astringent type persimmons to ripen.  I don't think you will like to clean after the mushy blobs everywhere.  So, the alternatives as described by the experts were to dehydrate them.  Use dehydrator or sun and wind dry the whole persimmons.
As you can also find the similar information on the internet, in fact, much more detail than mine, I am going to share how I did mine.

Strings 12" long
long dowel or bamboo pole and something to prop them high up off the ground.
Sharp paring knife
Cutting Board

1.  Gather persimmons off the tree with stems on.
Persimmons should be somewhat orangish in color and firm.
If the persimmon skin is translucent looking, it is likely already starting to ripe and soft - do not use for drying, unless you want to try what I am trying.
The stem will be used to tie the string around it.  So, be sure not to pluck the persimmons off the tree, but either use garden scissors to cut at the stem or use fruit picker that would leave about 1/2 inch of stem.  The best is if you can managed to cut the stem into 'T' shape.

2.  Wash and rinse persimmons.

3.  Carefully remove the leaves around the stem.

4.  Peel the skin - skin needs to be removed in order to complete the drying process and to allow CO2 to escape to cause 'tannin' to disappear.  & Afterall it is this 'tannin' that keeps people away from eating the astringent type persimmons vs. eating FUYU persimmons while it is still firm for that crunchiness.
5.  Air dry method:  Tie the string to the stem.  Hang dry on the pole you prepared.  Old bicycle tire frame will be perfect also to hang persimmons off of.  Takes about 6 to 8 weeks, depending on the size of the KAKI.
I am drying mine in the garage. My concern with drying outdoor is with bugs and polluted air and maybe even insecticide that county office might spray to spoil my beautiful persimmons. Honestly, dehydrator is a better tool.  To test outdoor air dry - I am also building a drying rack using 2" dowel as the pole and use 4 of 1/2" dowels to drive through the holes I make on the 2".  Then set it in the garden umbrella's pole stand.  This will give me a chance to dry them outdoor and bring them into garage during the increment weather.
If you have a free mobile metal-bar coat/dress hanger on the wheel, you can use that to hang persimmons off of, too.
6.  Dehydrator method:  Slice each peeled persimmons to 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.  This is personal preference.  I like thick cut dehydrated fruit over 'chip' like crunchy dried fruits.  Follow manufacturer's recommended temp and length of time.  I set mine to 105'F to 115'F & for 22 hours.

RESULTS:   Is it true that the 'tannin' disappeared when the peeled astringent type persimmons were dehydrated? 
Dehydrator Taste Test - After 18 hours of dehydration, I tasted the 1st slice on the rack - YES!  I was able to consume it without suffering the severe dry tongue reaction one can get from eating the astringent type persimmons; however, a trace of it is detected in the mouth afterwards.

Air Dry Taste Test - This is only the 2nd day of hang drying, so will update this 6 weeks from now.

Can you tell which one is the ripened persimmons, and which one is still the young persimmons by looking at it?

Fully ripened persimmons can be peeled like ... in summer when you get sun burnt and  your skin begin to peel.  If you gently pull back the peel the same way, the peeled persimmon would keep it's shape (see below).  A taut flesh is exposed and that keeps it from deforming. 

 I sliced the ripened persimmons into halves and place them in the paper cup cake cups.
Then, they were placed in the dehydrator for the full drying process.
Many ideas were posted at other websites to make fruit rolls, jam, smoothies, etc, with the ripened persimmons, but this is what I did tonight.

Ripened persimmons peeled and stands up firmly.