We grow two cultivars of Japanese/Asian persimmons which provide us with an abundance of ripe fruit from fall through winter. One of the wonderful things about Japanese persimmons is they store really well for a long period of time.
How long do Japanese persimmons store? Months to years, depending on how you store them…
Three ways to store Japanese persimmons
If you want to get really bad storage advice for Japanese persimmons, simply ask the internet. The search results that pop up first (as of the publication date of this article) will tell you that Japanese persimmons will only store for anywhere from a few days to a week.
Huh? This is why you don’t hire someone to write articles for you — or at least not someone who has apparently never grown, used, or stored Japanese persimmons.
If someone asks us “how do you store Japanese persimmons and how long do they last?,” the answer is it depends on:
a) what variety of Japanese persimmon you have on hand;
b) how you define “ripe”; and
c) what you’re planning to do with your persimmons.
Non-astringent Japanese persimmons
For this article, we’re referencing non-astringent Japanese persimmons, e.g. you can eat them when they’re orange, but still crunchy and firm, without any puckery effects in your mouth. On that note, exactly when a non-astringent Japanese persimmon is ripe is a purely subjective claim, and we personally like them at each stage of ripeness, from crisp to nearly desiccated months after being picked and stored.
Below are three ways we store — and recommend storing — your non-astringent Japanese persimmons, with each storage method producing different results. We also include some of our favorite recipes for each storage method.
Method 1: Store at room temperature.
- last up to 2 months;
- lowest moisture content;
- most intense flavor;
- best storage method for use in baked goods.
We picked the remaining persimmons off of our Ichi-Ki-Kei-Jiro persimmon tree on Dec 1 of last year.
The fruit was fully orange, slightly crunchy, and had endured multiple frosts and light freezes. We finished up the last of these persimmons in early February, two months later.
We don’t have much room to store persimmons in our fridge or freezer, so we store most of them at room temperature. For room temperature storage, simply:
- space them slightly apart and NOT stacked;
- put them either on a fine mesh rack (if you don’t have many persimmons) or on a countertop in a room with good airflow, e.g. an overhead ceiling fan. Without airflow the fruit can mold where it touches the counter surface.
Storing persimmons at room temperature provides a slow, steady trickle of perfectly ripe Japanese persimmons for up to two months. Simply give the persimmons on the counter a slight pinch with your fingers to detect softness and determine whether they’ll join you for a meal.
After two months, our persimmons have lost a significant amount of water, becoming wrinkled and squishy to the touch. As such, their flavor has also intensified significantly, becoming reminiscent of American persimmons or very ripe astringent Japanese persimmons (which have wonderful flavor once the pucker-inducing tannins degrade).
At this point of ripeness, Japanese persimmons make exceptionally good baked goods and desserts, from breakfast breads to puddings, similar to the way that overripe bananas make the best banana bread.
Recipes for soft, room temperature stored persimmons:
Recipe 1: Persimmon dates
If you dehydrate Japanese persimmons that have been stored at room temperature for 6-8 weeks, they taste and look almost identical to dates, but with more fruity notes. (The Tyrant says they have notes of rose hips.)
Here’s how to make persimmon dates from over-ripe persimmons:
1. Carefully cut off the calyx (the brown crunchy stem/cover on the top of the fruit) creating a small opening on the top of the fruit through which moisture can escape while dehydrating.
2. Put them in a dehydrator (we use an Excalibur) on 135°F for 48-72 hours until they have the texture, moisture content, and flavor of dates.
3. Slice and substitute persimmon dates for palm dates in any recipe from desserts to baked goods to charcuterie plates.
4. Store in your fridge in a jar or ziplock. Use your stored persimmon dates within three months.
Recipe 2. Spiced persimmon breakfast bread
Recipe 3. Gluten-free persimmon crumble with oats and nut flour
Recipe 4. Persimmon bread with oats, walnuts, and honey (no cane sugar)
Recipe 5: Persimmon butter with blood oranges and maple syrup
Method 2: Store in a refrigerator.
- fruit lasts at least 1 month;
- maintains high moisture content;
- flavor slightly improved by chilling;
- good for fresh eating.
Our fridge is a lab for various culinary science experiments, most of which are intentional. Thus, not much room.
If you have more room in your fridge than we do, it’s a great place to store extra Asian persimmons if you want to keep them at their present stage of ripeness for near-term fresh eating. Put them in a breathable paper or linen bag and try not to stack anything heavy on top of them.
Under these conditions, the persimmons will very slowly continue ripening and the cold temperatures will sweeten them further. You can store them for at least a month this way, assuming they were firm when you put them in, not already soft. An already squishy soft-persimmon will only store for about 7-10 days in the fridge.
Recipes for firm, fridge-stored persimmons:
Eat your fridge-stored Japanese persimmons fresh or use them in any recipe you find that calls for fresh persimmons, including:
Recipe 1: Hoshigaki
Our favorite preservation method for firm, but ripe Asian persimmons (both astringent and non-astringent varieties)? Hoshigaki.
Hoshigaki is a traditional East Asian persimmon recipe wherein you slow-dry and massage persimmons over the course of many weeks. The result is a delicious, chewy beautiful dried persimmon that’s MUCH different from a standard fast-dehydrated persimmon.
Recipe 2: Persimmon cranberry relish (no added sugar)
Method 3: Store in a freezer.
- longest duration storage method;
- maintains high moisture content;
- can soften firm/hard but ripe persimmons within 24 hours;
- great for quick desserts.
Do you have hard but ripe Japanese persimmons that you want to quickly ripen to a soft texture? Simply stick them in your freezer for a day, then thaw them for about an hour — you now have a soft ripe persimmon.
They’ll still have a good bit of water in them when thawed, but their flavor and texture will be improved — and they’ll have a better consistency for baking.
If you plan to freeze your persimmons for long-term storage (months or years), place them in vacuum-sealed freezer bags first. If you don’t have a fancy vacuum sealer, simply zip all but one corner on a persimmon-filled ziplock bag, then suck as much air out as you can before quickly zipping the bag completely closed.
Frozen persimmons can last for years but for best flavor and texture, you’ll want to use them within one year of freezing.
Recipes for freezer-stored persimmons:
Thaw then use in baked goods, puddings, sorbets, ice cream, etc. Or…
Recipe: Iced Japanese persimmons with maple whipped cream
A delicious dessert with four ingredients that takes about 5 minutes to make? Yes, please. Here’s how to make this frozen persimmon dessert:
- Freeze however many persimmons you want to serve for at least 24 hours.
- Remove frozen persimmons from freezer and let thaw 20-60 minutes depending on desired consistency.
- While persimmons are thawing, make maple whipped cream as follows: a) Put 1 cup organic whipping cream, 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar in an electric mixer. Beat until light and fluffy with an electric mixer. It’s ready when you can lift up the beater blades and the whipped cream forms peaks.
- With a sharp knife, cut the calyx off of the persimmons, being careful to remove as little of the fruit as possible.
- Slice open the persimmons into an attractive pattern and either dab on maple whipped cream or put it in center of plate to be used as a dip. For the picture above we put the persimmon on a bed of whipped cream then put a dollop of whipped cream in the middle.
- Garnish with a touch of fresh-grated nutmeg to amp it up a notch.
We hope this article gives you better answers to the questions: how do I store Japanese persimmons and how long do they last? We also hope it sparks ideas for lots of interesting recipes for you and your family.
We’ll update the article with our own new persimmon recipes each year as our trees produce more delicious fruit. Until then…
Sweet! Enjoy other persimmon articles from Tyrant Farms:
- Japanese vs American persimmons: how to grow, forage and eat
- How to make hoshigaki, traditional slow-dried & massaged Asian persimmons
- American persimmon pie with chestnut flour crust and maple whipped cream
- Recipe: Persimmon oat crumble (gluten-free)
- Recipe: Persimmon butter with blood oranges and maple syrup
- Recipe: Spiced persimmon breakfast bread
- Recipe: Cranberry relish with persimmons & citrus
- Recipe: Persimmon bread with oats, walnuts, and honey
- Recipe: American persimmon seed tea
- Recipe: Acorn flour & American persimmon cookies
- Recipe: Maple-sweetened persimmon balls with blood oranges and pecans