Find out how to make persimmon oatmeal bars using American or Asian persimmons. This simple versatile recipe is perfect for breakfast or brunch before a hike or foraging adventure!
A late freeze this year froze off all the flowers and immature fruit on our Asian persimmon trees. Silver lining: the loss of our cultivated Asian persimmons has made us more resolute in our efforts to forage the abundance of wild American persimmons growing nearby.
No, we will not suffer a fall without persimmons without putting up a fight.
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Persimmon recipe season
We love both types of persimmons (American and Asian) and do our best to come up with new persimmon recipes to share every fall during persimmon season. With our fridge quickly swelling with containers full of American persimmons after multiple foraging forays, we set out to create a persimmon bar recipe we could use in future years (and share with you, fellow persimmon lover!).
Multiple round of semi-failures ensued before we got this recipe “just right” — at least by our standards. We won’t bore you with the details of our culinary failures, but rest assured no American persimmons were wasted in the process. (We still ate and enjoyed the earlier iterations of this recipe.)
Recipe tips: getting persimmon oatmeal bars just right
1. Yes, you can use either American or Asian persimmons for this recipe (with a small caveat).
We used American persimmons for this recipe. We made sure the trees we harvested from had sweet, non-puckery fruit. Be warned: you don’t want to cook with puckery persimmons or the whole dish will be puckery. So get to know when the fruit is ripe and un-puckery on your individual American persimmon trees.
Once you harvest your American persimmons, you’ll want to use a Chinois strainer to extract the pulp. We used 2 cups of American persimmon pulp for this recipe.
If you only have Asian persimmons at your disposal, no worries. You can still make this recipe! Just be sure your Asian persimmons are almost overripe and squishy soft.
If your Asian persimmons are still hard, put them in the freezer overnight, then let them thaw to room temperature the next day. Voila! Squishy ripe Asian persimmons.
Asian persimmons are MUCH larger than American persimmons. Each Asian persimmon yields about 1 cup of pulp and some have no seeds. It takes dozens of American persimmons to yield a cup of pulp, and each fruit contains quite a few seeds.
(You can make those leftover American persimmon seeds into tea if you have a way to grind them.)
2. Key ingredients (and substitutions if necessary/desired)
A. Organic old-fashioned oats
We use organic old-fashioned oats for this recipe. If all you have is instant oats and you don’t feel like going to the store, just use your instant oats. The oatmeal “bar” part of the final dish might just have a slightly different texture from ours.
B. Organic whole wheat pastry flour
We love to use organic whole wheat pastry flour for these sorts of recipes since it has a finer texture. We prefer whole grain pastry flour since it’s healthier.
If this isn’t an ingredient you have around, just substitute all-purpose flour 1:1. Or if you want a gluten-free persimmon bar, substitute a gluten-free flour 1:1.
C. Pecan flour
Pecan flour (and nut flours in general) add depth, flavor, and nutrition to baked dishes. We add nut flours to baked goods every chance we get.
We use pecan flour in this recipe, but you can substitute almond flour (which is usually easier to come by).
Don’t have a nut flour handy? Just substitute equal parts flour (wheat or gluten-free) instead.
D. Muscavado sugar
Muscavado sugar is incredibly rich and delicious. However, if you don’t have muscavado sugar, just use regular dark brown sugar instead.
Or if you prefer a brown sugar alternative that still offers similar flavor depth, go with coconut sugar, substituted 1:1.
E. Chicken eggs or duck eggs?
For other duck parents, you might wonder if “eggs” mentioned in a recipe means chicken or duck eggs. For this recipe, you can use either chicken or duck eggs.
Even though duck eggs are usually about 0.5 ounces larger than chicken eggs and have a richer flavor owing to their larger yolks, this is one of those baked recipes (unlike cake or bread) where super-precise ratios/quantities aren’t quite as important.
We’re fortunate enough to have a small orchard of potted organic citrus growing right outside our front door. We’re also fortunate that our citrus is just starting to ripen.
Other citrus zest would work great as well: blood orange, regular orange, etc. (Regardless of citrus type, we recommend organic zest to avoid synthetic pesticide residue.)
If you don’t have fresh citrus zest, no worries. Use dried zest at a smaller quantity: 1 teaspoon dried zest equals 1 tablespoon of fresh zest.
3. Dish size
Our 8″x8″ baking dish broke and we haven’t replaced it yet. (We’re still in mourning and it’s too soon.)
Instead, we used an 8″x11″ baking dish. This size baking dish is a tiny bit larger than ideal for this recipe if you want to have a full top and bottom oat bar layer. If you have an 8″x8″ baking dish, use it.
Also, be sure to butter the bottoms and sides of your baking dish prior to putting the ingredients in and baking to help ensure your persimmon bars don’t stick.
Now you’re ready to get baking!
Recipe: Whole grain Persimmon oatmeal bars with American or Asian persimmons
Persimmon oatmeal bars
A simple and delicious recipe made from American or Asian persimmons. Perfect for a meal before a hike or foraging adventure!
Oatmeal bar mixture:
- 2 cups organic old fashioned oats
- 3/4 cup organic whole wheat pastry flour (or use organic all-purpose flour 1:1 OR gluten-free flour 1:1)
- 1/4 cup pecan or almond flour
- 1/2 cup dark muscavado sugar, densely packed (or dark brown sugar)
- 1/2 cup butter, softened/room temperature (plus a bit more butter to butter the baking dish)
- 1 egg (duck or chicken)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp fresh organic citrus zest (lemon or orange) (or 1 tsp dried zest)
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt (we love pink Himalayan)
- 2 cups persimmon pulp (from American persimmons or VERY ripe Asian persimmons, as per details in article)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (or honey)
- 1 tbsp fresh organic citrus (lemon or orange) (or 1 tsp dried citrus zest)
- 1 egg, duck or chicken
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (or from concentrate)
Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Butter an 8"x8" baking dish.
Mix butter and brown sugar in electric mixer for about 1 minute. Add egg and mix for another minute, until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, mix oats, pastry flour, pecan flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt together with a spoon. Add 1/2 cup of dry oat mixture to wet mixture ("wet" = egg/sugar/butter) in electric mixer, beating as you go. Use spatula to scrape sides and bottoms of mixing bowl to make sure all ingredients are fully incorporated/mixed.
In another bowl, mix together persimmon pulp, egg, maple syrup, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
Separate half of oatmeal bar mixture and place into baking dish. Press it down by hand until evenly distribute on bottom of baking dish, making a bottom crust of sorts. Pour all of persimmon mix on top and spread it evenly across the oatmeal bar mixture with a spatula. Then evenly distribute the remaining oatmeal bar mixture over the top of the persimmon mix by hand.
Put on middle oven rack in preheated oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until top is slightly browned. The type of baking dish you use (glass, metal, ceramic) and the accuracy of your oven thermometer may affect cooking time.
Remove from oven and let cool on cooling rack. Once cooled, either cover and refrigerate or cut and serve. They're even better reheated the next day! Garnish with a dash of cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and/or fresh citrus zest when plating.
We hope you enjoy this recipe each fall — or any time you get your hands on squishy ripe American or Asian persimmons! Just stay away from our secret American persimmon foraging spots or we’ll unfriend you.
Dig your teeth into more persimmon articles:
- Japanese vs. American persimmons: how to grow, forage, eat
- Recipe: American persimmon pie with maple whipped cream and chestnut flour crust
- Recipe: Sugar-free persimmon cranberry relish
- Recipe: Persimmon bread with oats, walnuts, and honey (no sugar)
- Recipe: Spiced persimmon breakfast bread
- Recipe: Persimmon oat crumble (gluten-free)
- How to store Japanese/Asian persimmons – with recipes!
- Recipe: Acorn flour & American persimmon cookies