Persimmon Bars

This past week I noticed a new variety of persimmon in our local supermarket.  This new persimmon (dubbed the “Percinnamon”) is very versatile; soft enough to puree for baking purposes, and firm enough to slice into a salad, which I made with arugula, walnuts, and pomegranate seeds.  I went searching in my vast collection of cookbooks and magazines for some new ideas that would incorporate persimmons in baked goods.  I remembered an article in a very old edition of “Bon Appetit”.  It was the Thanksgiving 1983 edition, and at a whopping two hundred and forty-four  pages, and with one hundred sixty-six recipes, it was the answer to my search.  From an article titled “Pumpkins and Persimmons” come these simple and delicious persimmon bars.  I’ve since seen updated versions of them, most notably in Saveur magazine.  The only difference from the original recipe is the addition of a light lemon glaze, which adds a tart note to the spicy, sweet cake bars.  I also substituted dried strawberries for the dates, but I think raisins, currants or dried cranberries would work well too.  These go together quickly once you have the persimmon puree in hand; and it yields a large pan of bars, so be prepared to share with family and friends.

Persimmon Bars
(makes thirty 3×1 1/2-inch bars)
1 cup fresh persimmon puree (from 3 persimmons)**
2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dried strawberries (6 ounces), finely chopped (or raisins, dates, currants, or dried cranberries)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (4 ounces) walnuts, toasted, cooled, and chopped
1 cup confectioner’s sugar (for the glaze)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Butter and flour a 10 x 15-inch jelly roll pan.  Blend the persimmon puree with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the lemon juice and the baking soda in a medium bowl (there will be some bubbling and the entire mixture will turn into a gel).  Whisk the egg and the granulated sugar together in a large bowl.  Add the oil and whisk to emulsify the mixture.  Stir in the dried fruit.  Blend together the flour, spices, and salt.  Stir the flour into the egg and oil mixture alternately with the persimmon puree; do not overmix.  Fold in the nuts.  Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan, using an off set spatula.  Bake until lightly browned and set, about 20 to 25 minutes.  When the bars are almost done, mix the confectioner’s sugar with 2 tablespoons lemon juice until smooth.  Remove the bars to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes.  Spread the warm cake with the lemon glaze and allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.  The bars will say fresh, in an airtight container, for 2 to 3 days.
**Peel the persimmons with a serrated peeler, cut them into chunks, and puree in a food processor) 
(minimally adapted from “Saveur” magazine and “Bon Appetit” magazine)



  • renee

    How wonderful! We got a case of persimmons in at work and now I know what to make with them; though I’ll have to switch them up gluten-free. Can’t wait to try!

  • Anonymous

    I’m so excited to find new blogs, especially in the Fall. My cousin told me about yours and also one called “Cooking With Mr. C.” which is on Facebook and is also a blog. I just “Liked” his page and came directly to your site. I’m so excited. My kids love when I find new blogs. Thank you. Corinne

  • Katanddogz

    My niece and nephew recently moved into a house with persimmon trees in the backyard. We had no idea what to do with all the fruit. I tried your recipe and they are fantastic. We’ll definitely be making them again!

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