While the rest of the country was watching parades and football games, I spent yesterday making jam from a big batch of persimmons given to me by a coworker. This was my first time making persimmon jam, but I think I'm in love. It's heavenly!
It also required some research. If you Google "persimmon jam recipes," you'll find lots, but nearly all of them end with, "ladle into jars and seal according to manufacturer's directions." There's nothing about processing them, and since I don't want to give my family botulism, I don't do unprocessed jams. There are a few freezer jam recipes out there too, but my freezer is full of pureed pumpkin (more on that in another post), so that wasn't high on my list either. Finally, after an hour or so of digging, I found an old article from Sunset on preserving persimmons, and the mystery was solved. [Update 10/11/12: this link is broken, but I found what I think is the same article here] Apparently, the astringent varieties can't be cooked very long, or they become bitter, so canned jams aren't an option. Fortunately for me, my giant pile o' persimmons were all Fuyu, a nonastringent variety that can be cooked. So I was back in the jam business.
I followed the recipe in the Sunset article, using powdered pectin (the recipe calls for either liquid or powdered). I had some trouble with the "skim off foam" step though. The entire pan of jam was foamy! I tried skimming off a layer, but it didn't seem to make any difference. The results were delicious, but the contents of the jars look a little foamy, and there's a clear jelly at the bottom. Next time (and, in the immortal words of Joe Elliott, there will be a next time) I'll try liquid pectin to see if that improves the consistency and appearance. I don't think anything could improve the taste, though. Persimmon jam is my new favorite jam. Yum!
Rainy Day Gardening is brought to you by Meg and Janet, two librarians who like to play in the dirt.
Born and raised in Northern California, Janet started gardening when she was about 4 (mumble mumble years ago). After relocating to Portland, OR, she became a true rainy day gardener, gardening in the rainy Northwest for 14 years. In 2010, she picked up stakes (and other garden implements) and moved to Southern California, where rainy day gardening is a rarity. She now gardens on about 2/10 of an acre, growing vegetables, fruit, flowers, trees, shrubs, and a fine crop of weeds. Her interests include carnivorous plants, citrus, cottage gardening, her greenhouse, and anything edible.
Meg was born in South Carolina and raised all over the country (plus Japan!), but has been living in Seattle since 1992 and now considers it "home." She has only been gardening for about two years (just bought her first home) and is still in the learning stages. Her interests include bright colors, plants she can snack on while she's weeding, and learning how to keep things healthy and happy without using chemicals.