Many people think the fall and winter seasons bring boring produce, but there are actually many interesting flavors to explore. Persimmons are a relatively “new to me” fruit. They’re rather odd looking with closely cropped rounded toppers and pudgy, shiny orange skin. But open them up and they’re full of a familiar, almost-cinnamon taste and honey-like sweetness.
A word of warning before delving into the world of persimmons: Become well acquainted with the difference between the Fuyu variety and Hachiya variety of this orange fruit. Fuyu persimmons (with flat bottoms) are lovely with a firm flesh, while Hachiya (heart shaped) are completely inedible unless they are soft enough to feel like jelly inside the skin of the fruit. Hachiyas contain large amounts of tannins that, when unripe, suck every molecule of moisture from your mouth instantaneously. So let’s aim to have a pleasant persimmon experience, shall we?
This jam takes advantage of the soft flesh of a fully ripened Hachiya persimmon and its sweet, spiced flavor, and pairs it with a citrus note and a familiar holiday spice: nutmeg.
Quick Persimmon Jam
Recipe by Carlene Thomas, RD, LD
Makes 1/2 pint
• 2 large Hachiya persimmons, very ripe
• 2 tablespoons water
• 1/2 cup sugar
• Juice 1/2 lemon
• 2 tablespoons lemon zest
• Freshly grated nutmeg
- Take two fully ripened persimmons and freeze. When frozen, remove and thaw until slightly soft.
- Cut off the tops and cut persimmons into chunks, placing in a small pot with a lid. Add water and cover, cooking for roughly 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the persimmon begins to break down.
- Remove from heat and run the persimmon through a food mill to remove pulp and skin.
- Place back on stove with sugar, lemon, zest and nutmeg. Cook 25 minutes at a boil until sauce is reduced and thickened.
- Store in a jar in the fridge. Serve with toast, spice cookies, yogurt or even ice cream.