Make fresh persimmon sorbet at home using only a few simple ingredients. You can’t beat this treat on a hot summer day.
Growing up in New Zealand, I had a great friend who’s family had an orchard of persimmons. I can devour a truck load of fruit so when I first set eyes on these fruit trees I was pretty excited. However, excitement soon led to disappointment as I bit into my first persimmon. It wasn’t a bad taste, but it didn’t really appeal either. I didn’t touch a persimmon again until this week here in Melbourne. This time the fruit was a lot sweeter and the texture a lot softer than the original persimmon. I decided to do a bit of research to find out more about them.
Discovery 1: Not all persimmons are the same
There are two main varieties of persimmon that are very different creatures.
Astringent: This variety needs to be completely ripe before eating. Unripe flesh is tannic and tastes terrible. A common astringent persimmon is the Hachiya which is what I used for this sorbet. You pick them hard and allow to ripen until the flesh is soft, even runny. When ripe, the fruit will almost feel like a balloon filled with water; perfect to use in your sorbet!
Non-astringent: These persimmons can be eaten from the tree and a common type is the Fuyu. They are quite crisp and have a really mild, sweet flavour. These are the ones I ate many years ago and I wasn’t a huge fan. I’m not convinced this variety would pack enough of a flavour punch for sorbet but I’d love to hear from anyone that’s successfully used these.
Discovery 2: Persimmons are made for sorbet
They really do produce a great tasting sorbet. I wouldn’t rate this flavour as highly as lemon, but it still works well. Actually, I wouldn’t eat any persimmons on their own but in this recipe they were great. Give it a go!
Persimmon Sorbet Recipe
- 8 persimmons peeled, pips removed
- 1/2 cup sugar plus 1 tablespoon
- 1/2 cup black tea
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- Add persimmons to a blender and add sugar. Process until smooth and well combined.
- Strain fruit into a bowl and whisk in tea, lemon juice, and salt. Chill for at least 3 hours.
- Churn as per manufacturer's instructions and then add to an airtight container. Freeze for at least 3 hours or until preferred consistency is reached.