Persimmons: Puree and Homemade Ice Cream

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A few weeks ago I professed my love of persimmons and made homemade persimmon vinegar and vodka infusions. Well, since then I’ve been saving up all the persimmons that I’ve harvested and put them in the freezer. This past weekend, I defrosted them to find a gooey, sticky glob of persimmon mess. But that’s not a bad thing, in fact it’s perfect for making persimmon purée, the basis of basically all persimmon based recipes. Muffins, cupcakes, jam, butter and homemade persimmon ice cream!

First, let’s start with the purée. We had some overripe persimmons that had somehow lost its cute little round shape and melted into one large blob. I had no idea where one persimmon ended and the other one began. While this may not be great for some recipes, it’s great for making puree! To make puree, I dusted off this cone thingy (I think it’s called a chinaman hat or something) and grabbed a bowl and spatula.

I scooped blobs of persimmon goo into the center of the cone, making sure to remove the brown stems. Then, using my spatula, pressed the persimmon against the sides allowing the pulp to push out the holes and into the bowl at the bottom of the cone. Keep working the persimmons until all you’re left with is the seeds. If you don’t have a cone thingy, you can probably use a colander. But this worked out perfectly.

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Once you have all the persimmons pressed through, you have a velvety persimmon puree ready to use in any recipe, or frozen in a tupperware. I fed the leftover seeds to the pigs for a special treat, but if you don’t have 200 lb garbage disposals outside your front door, you can clean off the seeds, throw them into a container with some dirt and try to sprout your own!

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But let’s stop playin’ around and get to the good good… homemade persimmon ice cream. I used my KitchenAid mixer ice cream attachment to make this batch. And it was awesome. Everything that I hoped it would be. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, put it on your holiday wish list. Or just make ice cream the old fashioned way with a mixing bowl inside of a larger bowl of ice… or something. I don’t really know how to make it the old fashioned way, ask your grandma or something.

Here’s What You Need:

  • 1 1/4 cup persimmon puree (or more if you want to make it REALLY persimmony)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons sugar or honey
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (or more milk/cream if you want more of a creamy ice cream.. you’ll see what I mean)
  • pinch of salt

Stir all of the ingredients together in a bowl, and feel free to adjust the ratio of persimmon to milk and cream. Dave likes a really strong persimmon presence, almost like a sorbet. I like a more traditional, creamy ice cream with a nice balance of persimmons so I did a 1:1 ratio of persimmons and milk and cream. Your persimmon flavor in this ice cream can either be a whisper, talk or a shout. Play around with the ratio to get exactly what you want. The more persimmons, the more velvety the texture, the more milk, the more creamy it will be.

Once you have it all mixed, pour into the ice cream maker and follow the manufacturers directions. It should be ready to go in about 20 minutes or so. Immediately remove it from the ice cream maker and store in the freezer. Make sure you let it hang out in the freezer for a few hours to finish firming up then dig in!

This would be amazing served with gingersnaps for a wintertime dessert treat.

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In just one afternoon you can have a load of persimmon puree ready to be used in the future, or persimmon ice cream to eat while you’re standing in front of the freezer at 1:00am. Not that you would ever do that, right? Either way, it’s a great way to put your persimmons to work and enjoy throughout the rest of the season.


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