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Persimmon Fruit Leather

Persimmon Fruit Leather from Weelicious

Prior to moving to California over 10 years ago, I had never seen a persimmon. I should also add that I had never heard of a persimmon either. How had I lived for so long without knowing about -- let alone eating -- one of the sweetest, most delicious fruits I've ever tasted? And if you think I seem enthusiastic about persimmons, you should see my kids. When Kenya noticed that persimmons had returned to our farmers' market this season he screamed, "PERSIMMON"! If there was anyone within one hundred yards of us who wasn't already aware that persimmons were back, they definitely were after Kenya's exclamation.

While persimmons are delicious in salads, in desserts or simply on their own, they're also one of my favorite fruits for making fruit leather. With only two, yes two, ingredients in this recipe, the hard part is the method by which you choose to cook it. My preferred method for making any kind of fruit leather is in the dehydrator. Dehydrators turn out the kind of fruit leather you find at the grocery or similar to the fruit leathers/roll-ups you probably ate as a kid -- easy to roll, super sweet, evenly cooked and just all around naturally delicious. Even though I use mine to make everything from fruit leather to dried fruit and more, dehydrators are not something you find in most kitchens, so I've spent a lot of time figuring out how to make a comparable fruit leather in the oven. Actually, as I type this post, I've got two batches of leather in the oven and another two in the dehydrator — testing to see which version I like best. While I actually dig making fruit leather in the oven, the real trick to doing it that way is…..well, just checkout the recipe below to find out.

While they're in season (and if you can find them), grab as many persimmons as you can get your hands on and make this sweet and heathy Persimmon Fruit Leather treat that will have your kids ripping off long strips before you even have time to roll it up for them!

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Persimmon Fruit Leather (Serves 4)

Prep Time: 2 mins Cook Time: 2 mins

egg free

nut free

dairy free

gluten free

Ingredients

  • 3 Medium Fuyu Persimmons, unpeeled or Hachiya's, peeled

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 200℉ or dehydrator to 135 degrees.
2. Wash persimmons well, remove stems and cut into pieces. If using hachiya's peel first.
3. Place persimmon pieces in blender and puree until smooth.
4. Pour the mixture onto a parchment-lined, or Silpat-lined, baking sheet and spread with the back of a spoon or spatula in a large rectangle, making sure that the thickness is completely even (this is one of the tricks to making perfect fruit leather).
5. Bake for approximately 2.5 hours if using parchment paper, 3 hours if using a Silpat mat or 5 hours if using a dehydrator or until leather is dry and firm to the touch. Remember, cooking times will vary depending on how thick you spread your mixture and how much water (juice) is naturally in the fruit.
6. Set fruit leather aside and cool at room temperature; it takes several hours for the fruit to soften up. Note that when you first take the fruit leather out of the oven, the edges may be a bit dry and crispy, but if you allow it to sit out for an hour it softens up.
7. Cut with a knife, pizza cutter or scissors into strips. Alternatively, if cooking on a Silpat you can peel the fruit leather off in one piece, place on a piece of parchment paper, cut into 2-inch wide strips and roll the leather into “roll ups”.
8. Serve.

Directions for a dehydrator:
1. Follow steps 2-4 above.
2. Cook the fruit leather at 145℉ for 5-6 hours.
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Hi, I’m Catherine. Mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. My passion is creating simple, healthy recipes that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

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33 comments

  • Michelle

    What does Persimmions taste like? I don't think I could easily find those in my state. At least I have never seen them.

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      Fuyu Persimmons, which I used for this recipe, taste sort of like an apricot mixed with cinnamon. That's the closest comparison I can think of, but really, persimmons taste like persimmons! I know, that isn't helpful, but they really are unique. Persimmons have a short season (usually September through December, but I am lucky to live in California where everything has a longer season) so they can be difficult to find in some places.

      leave a comment

  • Sara G.

    Hi Catherine,

    Quick question... I've purchased persimmons after reading about how much your family loves them (in other posts... not this one, I'm not THAT fast!) and when we ate them, they made our lips feel funny! We all had the same sensation, so it's unlikely to be an allergy. It was as though the fruit was sticking to our lips, although it wasn't. Is that normal? My family did not like the feeling and so now I'm reluctant to buy more. Any advice?

    Thanks!

    leave a comment

    • Mya

      that's a normal persimmon thing, might have been not quite ripe too...

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    • Catherine

      You may have eaten an under ripe Hachiya Persimmon. Those type need to be eaten only when they are very, very soft. So soft you might think they're over ripe. They are high in tannins and that causes a drying sensation (like red wine) in the mouth. Just be patient with your persimmons and eat them when they are very soft and perfectly ripe.

      Fuyu persimmons can be eaten while they are hard or soft (that's what I used for this recipe).

      leave a comment

    • Nevila

      It depends on the fruit you bought, if the persimmons were very soft and liquid, yes that's the sensation. If they were hard, well, you cannot eat more than a bite, because are very difficult to swallow.

      leave a comment

  • Mya

    Help! I tried your strawberry fruit leather yesterday, oven at 200 for 1.5 hrs and by then it was dry and crispy and hard as a rock. never softened up and was nasty. I was bummed! Was it just to long?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      Mya,

      I'm sorry your fruit leather burnt! In my Strawberry Fruit Leather post ( http://b12.ba4.myftpupload.com/2010/06/21/strawberr-wee-fruit-leather/ ) I talk about the different batches I did and the results I got. It really is trial and error with strawberries. If your strawberries are less juicy they'll be more temperamental than ones that are more juicy. You need to make sure the puree is spread evenly. Not knowing exactly what happened in your kitchen, my best guess would be that the problem was a combination of the strawberries not being being very juicy, the puree spread too thinly, and cooking for too long. But don't give up! Try, try again. You can check the fruit leather periodically during cooking, too. Gently poke with your finger to test the firmness and stickiness. It should be firm to the touch and pretty dry. If I could I would come over and help you! Have fun experimenting!

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  • Laurel

    Catherine - Do you have a recommendation for a good dehydrator?

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    • Catherine

      This is what I use. They make smaller models too. I LOVE mine!
      http://www.amazon.com/Excalibur-3900-Deluxe-Tray-Dehydrator/dp/B001P2J3K0/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1325896779&sr=8-5

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  • Skyppe Green

    Should I peel skin before put into blender.....

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    • Catherine

      You do not need to peel the persimmons at all. Just wash them and remove the leaves on top. Easy!

      leave a comment

    • Catherine

      No need to peel them first if you're using Fuyu's. If you use Hachiya's you should peel them.

      leave a comment

  • Kevin

    We had a persimmon tree growing up in our back yard here in Florida. It did OK, as it was a bit hit and miss on the quality of fruit it bore. Love the Fruit Leather! Reminds me of a much better/more wholesome version of Fruit Roll Ups!

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    • Catherine

      I wish I had a persimmon tree!!

      leave a comment

  • Runa B

    Thank you for this recipe. Have persimmons from our food co-op and wanted something fun to do with them. Can't wait to try this out!

    leave a comment

  • Lisatu

    So going to try this if the persimmons are nice and big this week. My 4 year old won't eat them but might like the roll ups. Its also perfect timing for her going back to school Monday. But how long will they keep fresh? Im going shopping tomorrow and if I dont make it tomorrow night my hubby and 15 month old will eat them all.

    leave a comment

  • Karen

    Don't think I can get persimmons around here.... just wondering if there are other fruit that can be substituted... I noticed you mentioned strawberries and have posted peach leather before...any others?

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  • Sun

    Hi Catherine,
    We too made the strawberry fruit leather in the oven and it was not great. I just purchased a dehydrator, though, and wonder if that recipe can be altered for the dehydrator? Is there a general rule for fruit leather in dehydrators (mine says 135 degrees for dried fruit strips)? I was wondering the same thing as Karen--are other fruits good as well? We are on the East Coast!
    Thanks!

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  • Sophie

    I made this this morning and was delightfully surprised!! It worked so well and it's delicious. I had some really, really ripe soft persimmons which I used. Does it work with the harder ones as well? Thanks!

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    • Catherine

      It's best when you use ripe persimmons.

      leave a comment

  • Amy

    I've been wanting to try a persimmon for a long time and I finally found some in my grocery store in South Fl last week. I paid $2.49 for one persimmon, but it was delicious! I went back the next week to buy another and they don't have them anymore. I guess its a delicacy here!

    leave a comment

  • Greenthyme

    Wow this looks so cool! I love persimmon, what a great idea to use it in fruit leather. I don't have a dehydrator. I wonder if I could do this another way.

    leave a comment

  • Lucy

    What tips would you recommend if using cherries for this recipe? :-)

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  • Rebekah

    I'm Korean so I grew up eating persimmons. I have a couple tips for eating Hachiyas. One is to freeze them whole once they're super ripe. Let defrost very slightly, peel away a little skin and eat them like sorbet with a spoon! Another way is to let ripen a little but still very firm and slice thick and dry in the dehydrator as is for dried persimmons. They'll be sweet and chewy!

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  • Mercedes Sifuentes

    yumm, i lovee Persimmons!

    leave a comment

  • Nicole

    Hi, I'm blessed to have persimmon tree in my yard. The persimmon that grow add the size of grape tomatoes maybe a tad bigger-- golf ball size... So two of them isn't a lot, do you have a cup size instead of an amount? Thanks.

    leave a comment

  • Jocelyn

    These are wonderful! Please add me to your mailing list.

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  • Pat

    I have Fuyu persimmons that are currently hard. Do I need to wait for them to get soft to do the fruit leather? I also have an excaliber dehydrator, and want to dehydrate them. Do you peel yours? Do you dehydrate them when they are hard or softer?

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    • Catherine McCord

      They need to be very soft so that you can puree them! I do not peel them. :)

      leave a comment

  • Rachel

    Hi what about the seeds? Do you puree those along with the skin and pulp? Thanks

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  • Angela

    We were lucky enough to move into a home with a big fuyu persimmon tree about a year ago. Now I'm looking for creative ways to use them other than slice and dehydrate. I love the idea of fruit leather (and I think my 4 year old will too!), but wondered if you had a conversion for time/temperature if I want to keep the leather 'raw'. I usually dehydrate most things around 110 degrees. Thank you!

    leave a comment