My initial attraction to persimmons is always immediate, as I love their rich coral orange color. Although several varieties are widely available in most markets in the U.S from October through February, they are not used in baking nearly as much as many other winter fruits. They have a delightfully sweet and slightly astringent taste. We’ve added dates for some added sweetness and texture, along with fresh ginger and allspice to add a little complexity to the flavor. These bars are addictive, with a unique flavor that always leaves you wanting more.
We’ve been using the Japanese Fuyu persimmons the past two years, which remain firm when ripe, rather than the American varieties, which ripen to a very soft pulp. However, any variety can be used in these bars. What I really like about the Fuyu variety is that they can replace apples and pears in many recipes, such as gallettes, tarts and upside down cakes. So if you have any remaining, be creative!