Saturday, October 18, 2008

Adventures in persimmonry

It's persimmon season here-- not the big grocery store persimmons, but the little American persimmons that are beloved of Hoosiers. Today when I saw them everywhere at the farmer's market, I decided that it's finally time (after living here for 6 years) to learn what to do with them. So I bought 2 quarts and headed home with bright ideas.

Pudding is the traditional thing. Pudding or cake or bread or fudge. But you know, I'm a fan of preserving, so I decided to make jam.

What I learned:
1. You have to puree them, but they have big seeds and ugly skins.
2. It takes a long time to press two quarts of persimmons through a strainer.
3. A food mill will not be able to deal with the seeds.
4. You can use a juicer, but if you don't use the presser thingie to press the persimmons into the spout, seeds will ricochet all over the kitchen. Wear safety goggles.
5. Two quarts of persimmons makes 3 cups of pulp.
6. Persimmons smell a bit like oranges.
7. If the one recipe you found uses an additional liquid like orange juice, use it. Don't skip it just because you don't want to go to the grocery store. Honey and extra lemon juice will not be enough liquid.
8. Apparently, jam can actually turn out dry under certain circumstances. Who knew?

Anyway, for all it's faults, it's very tasty.

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