A Passion for Pickled Persimmons

Just pickle it. Persimmons, that is.

Just pickle it. Persimmons, that is.

 

This is one of those home-made treats that makes people take notice.

It adds just a little something special to a charcuterie or cheese platter. And it makes for an eye-opening host/hostess gift.

Now’s the time to get acquainted with “Pickled Persimmons.”

I shamelessly admit I got the idea for making these from Chef Bradley Ogden when I recently dined at his new Bradley’s Fine Diner in Menlo Park. His pickled persimmons accompanied slabs of country pate. The duo together was so good I practically couldn’t stop eating it.

I learned from Ogden only that he used vinegar and Fuyu persimmons (the squat variety that can be enjoyed while still crunchy unlike the Haichiya type that must be eaten only when squishy ripe).

So, I set out to make something similar. I used apple cider vinegar for its lovely fruitiness, as well as sugar, water and a cinnamon stick. A knob of ginger would also be a nice option if you want to add a little sweet heat.

Simmer the brine mixture until the sugar is dissolved, then pour it into a clean glass jar filled with sliced Fuyu persimmons. Best yet, the pickles are ready to eat the next day. How easy is that?

The persimmons soften and acquire a perky tang. Surprisingly, they also take on an almost apricot-like quality.

I served the pickled persimmons alongside my Thanksgiving turkey, and my family couldn’t stop talking about them.

They pickles are fantastic with just about any meat. Toss them into a veggie salad. Or mix into chicken salad for a sandwich. Or use as a garnish on seared shrimp or scallops.

The pickling turns the persimmons into something all together new and exciting.

So what are you waiting for? Pick the last ones from your tree or round up a few at the farmers markets, and get yourself into a pickle with persimmons.

Pickled Persimmons

(Makes about 1 quart)

6-7 Fuyu persimmons

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 cinnamon stick

Clean persimmons; peel and remove tops. Cut fruit into small, bite-size wedges. Place in a clean, quart-size mason jar.

In a small saucepan on medium heat, add the cider vinegar, water, sugar and cinnamon stick. Let come to a simmer, stirring until sugar is completely dissolved.

Pour saucepan contents — including the cinnamon stick — into the jar of persimmons.

Allow to cool to room temperature before screwing the cap onto the jar and refrigerating.

The pickles are ready to eat the next day. They will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.

Note: Once you’ve eaten all the persimmon pickles, save the brine. It makes a great vinaigrette mixed with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, minced shallots and a little Dijon mustard.

From Carolyn Jung

PersimmonSalad

Another Persimmon Recipe to Try: Persimmon Salad with Sweet Ginger Vinaigrette

BradleyOgdenNewsletter

And: A Visit to Bradley’s Fine Diner

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12 comments

  • An interesting pickle! I’d love to taste it.

    Happy Holidays dear.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  • Wow! These look magnificent! Love the idea of pickling persimmons — I’ve never had them that way (in fact rarely have persimmons at all — they tend to get overlooked, don’t they? Too bad!). This is a real winner — thanks.

  • Oooh. I already love persimmons but this sounds like it will take my fave autumn fruit to the next level. 🙂

  • I never heard of pickled persimmons, now I want to try it to see what it’s like. I find it’s hard to think of new ways to serve persimmons when they’re in season, so thanks for the idea!

  • i’ve never tried a persimmon, but my brother planted some trees last year and promises to share some fruit soon. 🙂

  • Lucky me, I have a couple of persimmons waiting for me to use them right now! This sounds so great. Can’t wait to taste them.

  • I do a quick pickle with fuyu persimmons when they are still crunchy. Instead of a brine, I make a simple dressing of rice vinegar, salt, sugar and a touch of pepper flake. Peel and cut up persimmon toss in plastic container with rest of ingredients and shake. Can be enjoyed right away or overnight.

  • Nice, I did a pretty similar version here: http://theweeklypickle.com/week-43-pickled-persimmons/

    I noticed mine started breaking down faster than most pickles – any ideas what the best vinegar to sugar to salt ratio is?

  • Sarah: They do start to soften quickly unlike most other pickles. But I think that’s just the nature of working with persimmons, which are fairly soft to begin with.

  • I wonder if you can say a passion for pickled persimmons ten times fast! Thank you for sharing this recipe, it actually looks really delicious! I want to try making this at home the next time I have another pickling project. Thanks again for sharing!

  • When I make my old-fashioned bread & butter pickles I soak the cucumber slices overnight in a pickling lime solution, which makes the pickles very crunchy even after they have been cooked in the sugar and vinegar solution and canned. I wonder if that would work with persimmons to keep them crunchy?

  • Don: A most excellent suggestion. I will have to give that a try. Thanks for the tip!

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