The persimmons I remember from my childhood were small fruits that grew wild in the woods. If you dared to eat one before it was mushy ripe (and that usually didn't happen until after a hard frost) you'd better have been prepared to have your mouth turned inside out.
I remember my dad singing:
"Possum up the 'simmon tree,
raccoon on the ground,
Raccoon says to the possum,
won't you throw me some 'simmons down."
The persimmons I used in these bars, however, are not the persimmons of my childhood. A sweet friend gifted me with a bag of these lovely Japanese Fuyu persimmons that she grew herself.
Confession: I was afraid to eat these the first week I had them. I was waiting for them to get soft and mushy like the wild ones. I was soon set straight- these can be enjoyed while still firm, like an apple! They were so sweet and delicious that we ate most of them just as they were. The last three though, I made into these lovely bars to add to Thanksgiving dinner.
You could just call these "Fall in a Cookie," but they'd feel at home on a tray of Christmas cookies as well. They're spicy, chewy, and the lemon glaze on top is the perfect complement to the delicate sweetness of the bars. They're keepers, for sure... now I just need more persimmons!
Lemon Glazed Persimmon Date Bars
Recipe from Saveur
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 cup pureed persimmon pulp
1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 cup finely chopped dates (I used a food processor to chop these. I chopped them with a tablespoon of the flour included in the recipe to keep them from sticking together.)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 Tblsp. lemon juice
- Heat oven to 350F. Grease and flour 10x15x1 inch jelly roll pan.
- Whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cloves. Set aside.
- Whisk together persimmon pulp, 1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together sugar, dates, oil and egg. Add dry ingredients and persimmon mixture. (Don't be alarmed if the persimmon mixture appears to gel.) Stir until just combined. Spread with spatula into prepared pan.
- Bake until lightly browned, about 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven, let cool 5 minutes and then spread with glaze.
- Glaze: Stir together 1 cup confectioners sugar and 2 Tblsp. Lemon juice.
- Cool to harden glaze, then cut into finger size bars.