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8 Best Ideas For A Persimmon Substitute in 2024

Need some persimmon substitute ideas for delicious desserts, savory dishes and drinks? Several foods that can be used.

I adore persimmon baking! Their flavor and texture are distinct.

They can be hard to locate though, especially when it’s not persimmon season. So what if you can’t find them?

I’ll share my fave persimmon replacements here!

Best Ideas For A Persimmon Substitute featured image | Girl Meets Food

What are persimmons?

American and Asian persimmons are the primary types.

American persimmons, or common persimmons (Diospyros virginiana) are smaller than Asian persimmons and native to North America. Depending on the cultivar, they have a peppery, sweet taste and a mealy or soft texture. Vitamin C and fiber make American persimmons healthful and nutritious.

Asian persimmons (Diospyros kaki), on the other hand, are bigger and sweeter. They are native to China, Japan, and Korea and are grown worldwide. Asian persimmons are either astringent or non-astringent.

Astringent unripe persimmons are strong in tannins and bitter. So they should be eaten when mature. Sweet non-astringent persimmons can be eaten when they’re still firm.

Common astringent types of persimmon cultivars include:

  • Hachiya: Orange and conical persimmon. The ripe meat is pudding-like.
  • Saijo: This rich orange-skinned astringent persimmon is spherical. Its flesh is delicious and luscious when mature.

Popular non-astringent types of persimmons include:

  • Fuyu: Its skin is brilliant orange and tomato-shaped. It’s firm, crisp, and sweet.
  • Jiro: Spherical, deep orange persimmon. It’s firm and sweet-spicy.

Persimmons taste like a combo of honey and apricots. They’re a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, antioxidants and fiber.

Persimmons can be eaten fresh, chopped in salads, or baked into muffins, cakes, and bread. Persimmon pudding, tea, and vinegar are common Asian foods.

8 best persimmon substitute ideas

Three persimmons on a white background | Girl Meets Food
  • Apricots

Apricots taste like persimmons and are sweet. Most supermarket shops stock this delicious fruit. Dried apricots bake better since they don’t break down.

I’ve tried using apricots instead of persimmons in spiced persimmon muffins. The results were great!

You might also enjoy trying out these delicious apricot substitutes. I have 14 suggestions!

  • Mangoes

Persimmon substitutes include mangoes. They taste tropical and are similar to ripe persimmons. They’re more acidic than persimmons, so your recipe may need extra sugar.

You can also check out these mouthwatering mango replacements. Everyone can find something to their liking!

  • Papayas

Papayas are underrated persimmon substitutes. They taste sweet and juicy like ripe persimmons. Enzymes in them tenderize meat, making them perfect for savory meals.

I’ve written about alternatives to papaya too. Check them out, if you’re interested!

  • Pears

Ripe pears are delicate and sweet like persimmons. They’re an excellent choice for salads, baked dishes, yogurt and oatmeal toppings.

The persimmon bread I made with pears instead of the original fruit was yummy! Try it if you’re looking for some fresh ideas.

  • Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes can replace persimmons in savory meals. Stews, curries, and roasted vegetables benefit from their sweet taste and soft texture.

If you enjoy preparing meals using it, you’ll be interested in a piece I wrote on sweet potato alternatives. One or more of those suggestions might prove useful!

  • Ripe bananas

Ripe bananas can replace fresh persimmons in baking. Muffins, bread, and cakes can use their sweet taste and soft texture.

  • Applesauce

Unsweetened applesauce can replace pureed persimmons in recipes. Their textures and flavors are very similar.

I like using applesauce as an alternative to persimmon puree in pancakes and waffles.

  • Pumpkin

Like sweet potatoes, pumpkin is not a fruit, although it can replace persimmons in some recipes. Its sweet, earthy taste and delicate texture make it suitable for sweets.

I think pumpkin puree works well in persimmon pie. And, if you’re looking for something different, try making pumpkin-persimmon pudding!

  • Cranberries

Dried cranberries or cranberry jam can replace cooked persimmons in some recipes. Their tartness balances out the sweetness of desserts, such as cakes and muffins.

How to substitute for persimmon?

Chopped and a whole persimmon are on a cutting board that stands on a white surface. There is a towel next to it | Girl Meets Food

In recipes, persimmon replacements may have varied flavors and moisture levels. Tips for substituting these fruits in your favorite recipes:

  • Change sugar levels: Your substitute’s sweetness may require adjusting your recipe’s sugar.
  • Consider texture: If your alternative is different from persimmons, you may need to change the cooking time or utilize it differently (such as pureeing instead of slicing).
  • Consider different options: Try numerous substitutions to discover the best one for your recipe.

Persimmon substitute FAQs

What can I substitute for persimmons in a salad?

Mangoes, papayas, and pears are all excellent options for substituting persimmons in salads. 

What can I substitute for persimmons in baking?

Applesauce is a great substitute for persimmons in baking recipes.

Is persimmon similar to apple?

No, persimmons are not similar to apples. Persimmons have a unique flavor that is sweet and honey-like with hints of apricot. Apples are crisp and tart in comparison. Also, the texture of persimmons is much softer than apples.

Does persimmon taste like papaya?

No, persimmons don’t taste like papayas. Papayas have a tropical, sweet-tart flavor that is unlike the sweeter, honey-like taste of persimmon.

Why is persimmon fruit so expensive?

Persimmons are pricey since they’re hand-harvested. It takes longer to yield fruit since the persimmon tree grows slowly. Production costs are also high due to low tree yields. Lastly, persimmons’ limited shelf life drives demand.

What are 3 other names for persimmons?

Other names for persimmons are sharon fruit, kaki fruit, and Japanese plum. Their scientific name is Diospyros kaki.

What’s a chocolate persimmon?

Chocolate persimmon is a variety of persimmon with a unique flavor. It has a dark reddish-brown hue, giving it its name. Its taste is sweet and slightly tangy, similar to a mango.

What is a persimmon related to?

The ebony wood tree, which is linked to apricots, peaches, and plums, also produces persimmons.

Are persimmons related to tomatoes?

No, persimmons aren’t related to tomatoes. While tomatoes are a type of berry, persimmons are drupes like peaches or plums.

BOTTOM LINE: Persimmons are hard to locate and out of season, but many good replacements exist. Mangoes, papayas, and apricots are my favorites. Try other substitutions and follow a few instructions to utilize these fruits in your favorite persimmon dishes.

I hope you’ve found an excellent substitute for persimmons! 

If you need more fruit suggestions, I also have an article on pomegranate substitutes.