We have an ongoing battle surrounding our persimmon tree with the squirrels in our neighborhood.
It’s actually pretty simple; they eat the persimmons, sometimes tossing them aside after only a few bites, and we shake our fists at them, yell, and sometimes cry. It’s quite sad, but only for us. I think the squirrels are fairly happy with the deal.
To add insult to injury, it seems that our persimmon tree only bears a substantial amount of fruit every other year. In the bountiful years, it’s not uncommon for us to get buckets of fruit, 50-75 pounds of it, so much that we are giving it away and don’t notice the squirrel consumption. In the “off” years, we get nary a persimmon with the squirrels eating any and all of the meager amount of fruit on the tree. This is one of those years where the humans did not get a single piece of fruit.
How did I make this ice cream with no persimmons on my tree?
Confession #1; I made it last year but never got around to posting the recipe or photos and then persimmon season was over. My procrastination last year is your (and my) gain this year!
Confession #2; each year I freeze ripe persimmon pulp so I can use it later in persimmon bread and ice cream. This way the pain of losing what little fruit we get to the squirrels is easier to take.
Homemade persimmon ice cream spiced with cardamom.
Keyword: ice cream
ice cream maker
2cupsripe persimmon pulp
If you have whole cardamom pods, please see these instructions for crushing them. Crush the pods in a mortar and pestle or in between waxed paper. Discard the pod shells. Crush the tiny black seeds slightly to make them more aromatic. Heat the milk and the cream with the crushed cardamom and half of the sugar until very hot, but not boiling.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the remaining half of the sugar.
When the milk is hot, temper the eggs by whisking in a cup of the hot milk and cream into the bowl with the eggs and sugar. This keeps the eggs from scrambling when you add them to the hot milk. Then whisk the egg/milk mixture back into the pot with the hot cream. Cook until the custard begins to thicken; do not boil or the eggs may cook and curdle.
Pour the custard through a fine-mesh strainer and chill until very cold. At least 3 hours or overnight.
Whisk in the vanilla extract and then stir in the persimmon pulp. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. I use the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker.
Recipe Notes;A little cardamom goes a long way! Don't be heavy-handed.Persimmons: There are two kinds, Fuyu and Hachiya. My tree is Fuyu which means the persimmons can be eaten while still firm, or when fully ripe. Hachiya can only be eaten when totally ripe, otherwise, they are too astringent. Since this recipe calls for ripe persimmons you can use either. If you have Fuyu, you can mix in some small firmer pieces for texture.