For Tokyoites, November is when autumn truly sets in. This is when we experience those hallmark clear blue skies, consistently comfortable temperatures and the appearance of my favorite seasonal produce — the persimmon.

First cultivated in China about 2,000 years ago, the persimmon is the edible fruit produced by a species of tree in the genus Diospyros, which roughly means “divine fruit” in Greek. In Japan, kaki (persimmon) have long been cultivated, and they generally appear in two forms: fuyū and hachiya. Fuyū is the squat, sweet one, while hachiya are acorn-shaped, more astringent and usually dried before consumption. My first slice of fuyū reminded me of the center of a cantaloupe melon, but then it quickly turned toward the flavor profile of a pumpkin.

First sketches of this recipe suggested spices like star anise to really underline the pumpkin element, and I experimented with a flip-style cocktail for something like an eggnog, but didn’t quite find anything uniquely satisfying (do look up Julia Momose’s recipe for a Kaki Flip).