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