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