This delicious persimmon ginger sorbet is easy to make and both looks and tastes great. The zingy ginger compliments the smooth, fragrant persimmon perfectly. Set aside any thoughts that a winter fruit and frozen treats don't go together and enjoy.
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Persimmon, or sharon fruit as I knew them when I was younger, are something I first tried when I was fairly young in Andorra, of all places. I admit to being a bit confused by this thing that looked a little like an orange tomato. But any hesitating went out the window once I took a bite.
It has a wonderfully sweet but not too sweet, almost fragrant flavor. It comes back to me each time I see them in the shops and tempts me to buy them.
Sadly they don't appear all that often. So if I do find one, I generally just eat it. But at times, I come across a good collection and even better, on offer, and get a few to make some recipes with as well.
For reasons I have yet to fully understand, ice cream and sorbets are eaten in large quantities at any time of the year here in New England. We had some really nice sorbet not too long ago as a palette cleanser as part of a lovely meal out and it got me thinking about making my own.
It wasn't too long until I came up with this bright persimmon sorbet. It makes a great seasonal treat or to break up some of the heavy meals that are often part of this time of year. You don't have to add in some crystalized ginger, but I do find it pairs really well.
How to make persimmon sorbet
Sorbets are one of the easiest frozen treats to make (true Concord grape sorbet needs slightly more prep but still worth it!). You simple need fruit, some sugar or other sweetener, and some liquid. I say liquid as opposed to water, as now and then something else like a herbal tea can help add another flavor. Plus, for many fruits a little lemon helps balance the sweetness.
This persimmon version is very easy to make as persimmons break up easily without any stray seeds or stones. There's also no stringyness, so while it can be good to strain the puree you can certainly get away without it if you are short on time or prefer to skip it.
Persimmons are naturally pretty sweet, but as with sorbets in general, you still want to add some sugar. The sugar helps to stop the mixture freezing too hard, making it easier to scoop and with less big ice crystals. It also helps to bring out the fruit's flavor which can dull in freezing.
I added tiny pieces of crystalized ginger as it gives a nice little zing which both works well with and I think brings out the flavor in fairly mellow persimmon. Together, they are a delicious combination. That said, you can also make this as plain persimmon and it will still be very tasty.
I tend to make this the manual way of stirring every hour or so but with an ice cream maker, it is even easier to make. You just leave the machine to get on with things before the final freeze.
Tips for choosing persimmon
The one warning I would give is to check which type of persimmon you have as there are two main varieties and they vary in how ripe they need to be to use them. One kind, the dumpy Fuyu (pictured above), is fine when just a bit tender, like a ripe pear. These tend to be sweeter and work well here.
The other main variety, Hachiya (as you see below), needs to be properly ripe to use for this (and, indeed, most other uses). That's ripe as in starting to bruise and you are worried you might burst the skin when you touch them ripe.
Some would say they have a stronger flavor, so are even better to use here. And certainly, they are the preferred type for baking. But take care: only use if properly ripe for this sorbet.
The reason I flag it is under-ripe Hachiya persimmon leave a kind of fuzzy feeling on your tongue that still comes through in sorbet. It's both weird in itself, but the fact that you can still taste that it should be delicious is torturous. Believe me, I know from experience.
Other than that, this persimmon ginger sorbet is a very easy and beautiful, tasty addition to any meal. With great flavor and colors, this is bound to impress any guests. They don't need to know about the easy part, I promise not to tell.
Try these other tasty persimmon recipes:
- Easy persimmon appetizer with minted mascarpone
- Persimmon apple cider mimosa
- Beet persimmon salad with goat cheese dressing
- Jerusalem artichoke and persimmon stuffing
- Plus get more winter recipes in the archives.
Persimmon ginger sorbet
- 2 ½ cups persimmon pureed volume/weight (2 ½c is approx 3-4 persimmon, depending on size)
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoon crystalized ginger finely chopped, candied ginger
- Cut the persimmon in half and scoop out the flesh to leave the skin behind. Puree the flesh with the sugar until smooth, only a minute or so.
- Depending on your blender/food processor, you may went to strain the puree through a fine strainer to ensure the puree is smooth, but you can also skip if it seems fine.
- Add the lemon juice, water and finely chopped crystalized ginger to the persimmon puree and mix through well. Pour into an ice cream maker or else in a loaf tin or freezer-safe container, covered.
- If using an ice cream maker, just follow the instructions to churn then freeze. If using a container/tin, take the container out of the freezer every hour or two for about 4-5 hours until it is has a good amount frozen. Each time you take it out, stir the frozen outside pieces into the center and break up any icy lumps with a fork and return to the freezer. Leave overnight to freeze fully after the last time you stir.
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This post was first published in 2014 and has been updated, primarily with new photos, in 2021.