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The Great Persimmon Experiment (in search of persimon jelly)

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Yes, I realize I spelled the name of this fruit two different ways in the title.  According to some internet searches, either spelling is acceptable.

My aunt and uncle in town (Austin, TX) have a persimmon tree in their backyard, and have offered me the fruit from the tree a couple years running.  Last year I accepted less than a dozen, having no Idea what to do with the fruit.  

After the leaves had browned and fallen off the tree, the fruit were hanging there, beautifully, bright yellow and orange.  I wondered how there could be so little bird/insect damage to such beautiful fruit...  The fruit, it turns out is very astringent in quality before it is fully ripe.  If you've ever had a taste of alum powder which makes your lips involuntarily pucker up; or chewed on sandpaper just for the fun of it, you know the feeling "astringent" creates in your mouth.  

The astringency disappears when the fruit is actually "fully ripe."  My problem with a fully ripe persimmon is that, while it tastes much better, it has the texture of a banana better suited for making banana bread than eating raw.  That is to say, it tasted pretty good, but felt like I was eating 'rotten' fruit.  Most of my internet research showed that persimmon is best preserved by drying whole, but I was determined to find a persimmon jelly recipe... the color is just so nice.

"The Joy of Cooking" cookbook mentions that persimmons can be preserved by a hot-pack canning method, but has nothing of making a persimmon jelly in the jellies section.  The only recipe I found on the internet was more of a jam or butter by definition with the body/pulp of the fruit preserved in the gel rather than a true jelly made by two separate cooking processes and utilizing only the juice.  I actuallly found about 3 different recipes, but they were all very similar and had just slight variations.  The original (as far as I can tell) can be found here

A warning story using the above recipe with under ripe persimmons can be found here.

Even as I write this introduction, I haven't come up with a  truly satisfying result, but in the 3rd re-work of the batch, I've come close once (and that time almost an accident) and need to get my processes down before I forget what they were, so...

... without further ado, I present The Great Persimmon (jelly) Experiment

 
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try treating the persimmions in a way you would to make tomato jelly but using less sugar as they are allready sweet. the recepie i use is simply 2 cups tomato juice 3 cups sugar and one whole packet of pectin. boil for 5 min and pour into your jars sealing with canning wax.
I've never tried tomato jelly either. Honestly, I've only made Jalapeno jelly once or twice... sometime between 5 and 10 years ago! Otherwise It's just memories of my mom making jelly from the blackberries I'd pick wild from the field between our house and the elementary school closer to 30 years ago. I do still remember the smell of the blackberries cooking. And, it looks like I won't be doing any persimmon experimenting this year, as the drought in central Texas has left my normally abundant source quite barren.
pyogazel3 years ago
This is interesting,
I too am looking for ways of using persimmons, did you check Farmerjeff's hoshigaki (dried persimmon) instructible?


RaptorWing (author)  pyogazel3 years ago
I have not, but I have seen others. I really just wanted to try something new. Drying seems to be the preferred method for preserving them. I wanted a clear jelly rather than the usual preserves or butter consistency. It'll. Have to wait til next season, as I've got a lot of other projects on my plate now.
Batness3 years ago
I haven't tried to do anything with persimmons yet, but this is looking very interesting! Have you found the perfect batch yet?
RaptorWing (author)  Batness3 years ago
Not yet... Nothing set-up the way I had hoped. I've been out of town for the Holidays and have 5 pints of rather tasty persimmon syrup. (about the consistency of "heavy syrup" as found in canned peaches from the grocery store.) Still a little thin for the pancakes... further updates will likely be a ways off. If I don't get all the grapefruit from my parents eaten, the next food-related instructable may be a grapefruit preserve.