RECIPES: Persimmons Perhaps

Sure, Grandma’s pudding is great. We love it, we really do. But as these recipes from a trio of Mass Ave masters demonstrate, there is so much more to the squishy fruit.

888 Massachusetts Ave., 317-423-0312

“When I moved here 11 years ago, I was unfamiliar with the persimmon. But it has become a staple.”


2 eggs, separated, at room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup persimmon pulp
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup condensed milk
1/2 cup whole milk 

Preheat oven to 450. Beat the egg yolks and then combine with the sugar, persimmon pulp, and spices. Stir in the milks.

Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whites into the persimmon mixture. Spoon into a 9-inch unbaked pie shell and bake for 10 minutes. Lower heat to 325 and bake 30 minutes longer. Test for doneness by inserting a knife into the center. When it comes out clean, the pie is done.


>> MICAH FRANK of Black Market  922 Massachusetts Ave., 317-822-6757

“I like to incorporate persimmon pulp into a vinaigrette, adding the perfect sweetness and viscosity to dress an autumn salad of pears, kale, and squash.”


1/2 cup persimmon pulp
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
2 tbs brown sugar
2 shallots
2 tbs minced fresh ginger
juice and zest of 1 orange
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil 

Combine first six ingredients in a blender with salt and pepper. Slowly incorporate the oils with the blender running until the vinaigrette is emulsified.


>> ZACHARI WILKS of The Ball & Biscuit  331 Massachusetts Ave., 317-636-0539

“Persimmons transport me back to Grandma’s kitchen during the holidays.”


1 ounce vodka
1 ounce persimmon syrup*
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce orange juice
Sprig of mint for garnish

In a cocktail shaker, combine the vodka, persimmon syrup, lemon juice, and orange juice with enough ice to fill the shaker. Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a sprig of mint.


3 persimmons, chopped
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 cups water
3/4 cup sugar 

In a medium pot, dissolve the sugar in the water over medium heat. Add the chopped persimmons, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cook on low heat until the persimmons are soft and the water has reduced to syrup. Puree the contents of the pot in a blender until completely smooth. Press the puree through a strainer. Discard the solids and conserve the persimmon syrup.

Photo by Tony Valainis.

This article originally appeared in the December 2011 issue.