By Jim Casada

Country bumpkin kids have long rejoiced in tricking their city slicker cousins into sampling a bite from a green persimmon. Talk about pucker power! Such a misguided foray into wild foods will have a poor soul spitting for five minutes. Yet ripe persimmons are incredibly sweet and tasty. If you can beat the deer, foxes, coyotes, ‘coons and ‘possums to them, you have the makings of a recipe fit for the gods. Next time you deer hunt near a persimmon tree (a great place to put a stand), gather some of this wild bounty.

2 cups persimmon pulp
2 cups packed brown sugar
¼ cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups self-rising flour
½ cup light cream or whole milk
2 eggs, beaten
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup raisins or nuts (optional)

Combine all ingredients and beat just until well mixed. Pour into a greased 9 x 13-inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and just beginning to pull away from the sides.  Remove from oven and cool slightly. Cover and seal tightly with foil or plastic wrap. Cut into squares when fully cooled and serve with whipped topping.

TIP:  Ripe persimmons are pale orange and very soft with wrinkled skin. To prepare pulp, rinse persimmons in cold water and press through a non-aluminum sieve to remove the seeds and skin. Use the pulp for this recipe or you can freeze for later use.

—Jim Casada is the author of Field to Feast: The Remington Cookbook.