Persimmon Sorbet

Persimmon flowers

The persimmon fruit starts its life as very discrete white flower about the beginning of June.

persimmons and asian hornet

By the middle of November some are starting to ripen and being burst open by birds, and in 2015 being feasted on by the glut of Asian hornets (Vespa velutina).

Persimmon and Great Tit

This poses a problem as the Persimmon ripen slowly and if left on the tree very little whole fruit will be left to harvest.

At first we were reluctant to gather unripe fruit but we have since discovered that they will happily ripen indoors and maintain their flavour.

The Kaki or Persimmon is not well known in this area but we have now successfully converted a couple of friends who, much to their surprise, discovered that they too enjoyed this sweet winter fruit.  Nevertheless, this year we had an exceptionally large crop and had to leave a box of unripe fruit while we visited the U.K. at Christmas.  I quite expected to return to a box of mushy rotten fruit but all the Persimmon had ripened with no spoiled exceptions.  However, there were too many to deal with in the immediate so I decided to experiment.  I gave them a wash and then packed them individually into the freezer.

defrosting Persimmon

The frozen Persimmon retain their shape as they defrost and the frozen flesh, though slightly softer than the fresh, is almost the same texture and just as sweet.  We can enjoy our defrosted Persimmon as a fruit on its own or add it to yoghurt as a dessert.

Persimmon sorbet

Flush with the success of my freezing experiment, I decide to try for a sorbet.  I treated three Persimmon to a mix with the hand blender and poured the result into the ice cream maker.  The resulting sorbet has a beautiful colour and was ready to eat.  I do not have a very sweet tooth as far as desserts are concerned, so for those that like something sweeter I would recommend the addition of a sugar syrup which would also keep the sorbet softer if re-freezing.

However, for me I was pleased to have discovered another way to use the fruit of the garden without adding additional sugar.


52 thoughts on “Persimmon Sorbet

    • I have made a similar sorbet with green Golden Delicious. It stays a lovely green colour if you leave the skin on. To make a soft, creamy sorbet you have to add a high concentration sugar solution. I hope this doesn’t start you thinking about crystallisation and concentrations of solutions. 🙂 Amelia


      • No, though funnily enough I was just wondering yesterday about why bees make hexagonal wax cells ….the same form that water/ice crystals take ?Coincidence, or just the most efficient for packing more in? I wonder if you two beekeepers have any thoughts on this????
        Interestingly too, F’s made 3 different sorbets in the last month after a recipe in the D.Tel inspired us to have an experiment- mandarin/blood orange with star anise and thyme; Basil lemon and Lime; and lemon, blueberry and vanilla…. all delicious, though heavily sugar laden!

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        • Oh dear we are back to crystalline structures (sort of.) Bees don’t build hexagonal cells. They build tubes of wax around their body. The bees can heat the wax to 40 degrees when due to the physical properties of the wax it starts to flow. These aligned tubes form straight walls as they cool and it is the tensions bearing on the connecting sides that results in the hexagonal shapes. This is a shortened version of a complex phenomena. They are an extremely efficient shape for space saving. Amelia


    • They were brought over from the far East to Europe and I have seen some very large trees in the area, much too tall to be harvested for fruit. The local birds must love them! In France they call the fruit Kaki which is the Japanese version of their name. Amelia


    • I’d love to try dried Persimmons, I would imagine they would be similar to figs without the seeds. I would love to dry more fruit but it is neither hot enough nor dry enough here to dry them in the open which is the best way to dry fruits. Amelia

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Interesting. How long does it take to get persimmons on a newly planted tree? I wonder if they would grow here. We don’t usually get snow, but it gets sub-freezing sometimes. I like the idea of fruit ripening in winter. Did your bees pollinate the blossoms?


    • I have only got the one tree, so it is self fertile. I have not got any pictures of the bees in the flowers but I sometimes miss the flowers as they are so discrete. We have had two very mild winters but some years we can get short, very cold periods. Once it went down to minus seventeen centigrade but that is very unusual. They grow quickly and need little care so it would be worth t if you have a sunny spot. As they leaf late you won’t get frost damage. Sounds its worth a try for you. Amelia

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    • It would be worth trying. We turn our apples, plums, blackcurrants etc. into jam and compotes. We enjoy all that but I want to keep to a minimum the amount of sugar I add to our diet. I wonder what an instant pear sorbet would taste like? It should only take about 15 minutes in the ice cream maker. Amelia


    • Pear sorbet is a wonderful way of storing pears!!
      And Amelia, I have found that the addition of a wee amount of alcohol…
      a liqueur glass is my measure… lowers the freezing point enough.
      But never having eaten persimmons, I wouldn’t know which alcohol to suggest…
      when I don’t know with sorbets here, I tend to use vodka as it has no flavour of its own.
      The colour of that persimmon sorbet is very appetising!!


        • You can…. according to my icecream making book…
          use a small amount of cooking quality glycerine to keep the sorbet soft enough to serve.

          We’ve inherited my Father-in-law’s Zannusi fridge…
          it only has a two star freezer compartment…
          that seems to be almost the perfect temperature…
          our proper freezers are all 3 Star +…
          they may keep food better….
          but only ghastly soft-scoop ices serve direct from those!!
          Home-made ices need a lifetime to thaw to a servable state!!

          I have no idea what we’ll be able to replace the “Appliance of Science” with when it eventually gives up the ghost!?


          • Refrigerators are still doing the same basic job they have always done but they are their fitments are becoming more fragile as the years pass. I think the “frost free” function is the only improvement I appreciate.


    • It would not surprise me if the tree would survive but I don’t think the U.K. summer would be long enough to ripen the fruit sufficiently. But then with global warming…(only joking). Amelia


    • I cannot waste fruit and I am really happy to have introduced some friends to their delightful flavour. Around us it is quite common for people to have excess of something during the year and everybody runs around sharing out the surplus with friends. I think nothing gets wasted – even the courgettes go to the chickens as a last resort. Amelia


    • It is nice to here that other people appreciate them. They have been called Sharon fruit by Israel as a marketing idea although they are not native to the region. The French call them Kaki from the Japanese word which is closer to their origins. Amelia


  2. What a delicious looking way to use Persimmon fruit Amelia, it must be doubly rewarding to use your own fruit too, especially as they escaped the attention of hornets.


    • The discovery that they ripen so well indoors was the biggest leap forward as we got them before they could get damaged. Some fruit never tastes good if it is not left to ripen on the tree but it is not the case with Persimmons. Amelia

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Amelia,
    Now that we have our espalier apple and pear trees under control I would like to try and grow a persimmon in the same way. I have only seen one tree in Vancouver BC in over 40 years but I may just have the place for it.
    Wondering if your bees are flying these days. Our one hive morphed to three and we treated them for Varoa with an oxacilic acid fog last week. Very few drop in hive one and three but hive two had 22 Varoa drop onto the bottom board. We also had quite a bit of trouble with bald-faced wasps at the end of July. I think they were attracted to the garden primerally by the very ripe golden plums.
    We distributed pounds and pounds to the neighbours then put them out in bags for people to take. I then banged every fruit I could find off the large tree and buried the rotting fruit in one of the compost bins. I had to tape the edges of the bins as the wasps were trying to access the interior of the bins.
    We narrowed down the entrances to the hives to about an inch and made sure there were no areas that they could enter apart from the narrowed entrance.
    We seemed to help diminish the attraction to our garden. Also hung traps and caught hundreds of yellow jackets just with marmalade jam and sugar water. Bees were not interested in the traps.
    Our local beekeeper association suggests we hang traps early in the Spring to kill the queen wasps.
    Hoping our three hives will make it through the winter.
    Regards Janine Becalmed Cottage blog


  4. It has been so mild this winter we think the bees have continued to have brood. The temperature yesterday was 17 degrees Centigrade and the bees were out in force. Do you have an instrument to vaporise the oxalic acid? Supposedly the vapour is the best winter treatment but I have only seen expensive professional equipment advertised. It looks as if we are going into spring and we have not treated with oxalic acid. We have used HiveClean but only got a daily drop of one mite which sounded too low after a treatment but if you regard it as a natural drop (disregarding the treatment) they should be O.K. Amelia


    • Hi Amelia, Your temperatures are very mild indeed. We are further north than you I think at 49.1 N. – approximately Le Havre in France. I believe it was 10C yesterday here but the sun was on two of the hives and the black tar-paper wrapping helped heat the hives so they were out in force for cleansing flights. As soon as the sun went behind the clouds the bees retreated. It is 6C today overcast and will rain for the next week.
      Heather is blooming as is Sarcocca and some Daphne.
      Bruce (handy husband) made the vaporizer at a cost under € 20. I will post how he did it in the next week after we take some photos.
      One Varoa is incredibly low so bodes well for your hives.
      Regards Janine


  5. How lovely! I adore persimmons, providing they are not the tyoe that make ones tongue go ‘furry’. I presume that’s tannic acid in the fruit? Would you know how to tell which varieties are least likely to have high tannic acid content? How lucky you are, though, to be able to have access to fresh ones so easily. (And I must try this idea for sorbet sometime, too. Thanks.


    • The only way you will get the Persimmon that can be eaten before they are totally ripe is to choose your tree from a supplier with a good knowledge and reputation in your area. I have only read about these other species of Persimmons but I have never tasted them. As I have always known to wait for the Kaki to ripen it has never been a problem but I always worry that someone might unwittingly try eating them while unripe and get a nasty surprise! Amelia


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