It’s true what they say about the grass being greener on the other side of the fence. Backyards in many parts of the country have huge persimmon trees that leave owners to wonder what to do with this gorgeous and plentiful (to the point of being pesky) fruit that falls to the ground towards the end of November. Those who don’t have the tree are envious of their bounty. Those who do have the tree will probably be envious of backyards that aren’t covered in fallen fruit.

The solution of course is a persimmon picking party to share the harvest. And then the once fruitless can return the favor by sending over a loaf of persimmon tea bread for the party host to enjoy.

The two most common varieties of persimmons are Fuyu and Hachiya. Fuyu can be enjoyed in both its firm and softer stages. Hachiyas are really only edible once very soft, which make them ideal as a puree in desserts.

Persimmon Chicken

Served over rice and with a side of stir-fry vegetables, this dish can’t be beat for a weeknight meal. I use chicken tenderloins a lot for weekday meals as they are very versatile and have a quick cook time, always a plus for cooking on school nights.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups chopped Fuyu persimmons
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¾ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • zest from two oranges
  • salt and white pepper
  • 8 chicken tenderloins, fully cooked and chopped into 2 inch slices
  1. In a large saucepan, warm the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the persimmons and cook for several minutes, stirring occasionally, until persimmons have softened. Stir in sugar.
  2. Add orange juice and zest and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until the sauce has reduced in size by half. Add the chopped chicken and season with salt and white pepper to taste. Add over rice. Serves four.

Persimmon Tea Bread

Plump dried cranberries and pistachios add some seasonal color to this tea bread.

  • ¾ cup persimmon puree
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup pistachios, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease one large loaf pan with softened butter and lightly flour pan (tapping out the excess). In a blender, puree persimmons with baking soda, and set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, pumpkin pie spice and salt. In a small bowl, mix the cranberries and pistachios with one tablespoon of flour and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the oil, water, eggs and sugar until well mixed. Add the persimmon puree and baking soda. Fold in the dry ingredients until thoroughly blended. Fold in the nuts and cranberries and pour batter into loaf pan.
  3. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes until firm to the touch and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks for about 15 minutes, and then release from pan and allow to cool completely.

Persimmon Pudding

While the tea bread is perfect for daytime, try this steamed pudding with freshly whipped cream for dessert.

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup persimmon puree
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ cup (one stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a 9” square pan by lining the pan with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, pumpkin pie spice and salt and set aside.
  2. In a blender, puree persimmons with baking soda, and set aside. In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla, eggs and citrus juices. Beat in persimmon mixture. Remove from mixer and fold in the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula until thoroughly blended.
  3. Pour into prepared pan. To steam the pudding, take the square pan and place it in a larger pan filled with 1-inch of hot water. Cover the larger pan with parchment paper and aluminum foil. Bake until firm, about 1 ½ hours (start to check the pudding after 75 minutes). Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream.

Cheese Plate with Persimmons

If persimmons are about to take over your backyard, use them as an unexpected addition to the cheese plate. A larger version of this can be assembled for a group, but plating this individually makes for a very elegant end to a meal.

  • One 8-ounce log of goat cheese, divided into four rounds
  • 2-3  Fuyu persimmons
  • Table crackers
  • Trader Joe’s Cinnamon Almonds

Set up four salad plates. Place a round of goat cheese on each plate. With a bread knife, slice the persimmons into thin rounds (like slicing a tomato), and cut those rounds in half. Fan out slices of persimmons and arrange next to cheese. Arrange several crackers on each plate as well. Tuck cinnamon almonds into any gaps on the plate. Serves four.