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Preserving persimmons; here's how to freeze and can.

Preserving persimmons

Oriental persimmons make beautiful preserves, some to can and some to freeze. The methods and recipes you use depend upon the distinctly different behaviors of the two Oriental persimmon types described on page 102.

Hachiya-type persimmons--good to eat when soft-ripe--can be cooked only under certain conditions, because heat causes their flavor to deteriorate, but they freeze well. The versatile Fuyu types--delicious at either crisp or soft-ripe stages--are easier to work with; they can also be preserved by canning or freezing.

Here, we give directions for putting your persimmon crop or purchase to work in two kinds of jam, a jelly, a syrup, a nectar, brandied fruit, and pickles.

Freezer Persimmon Jam

1 1/2 pounds (see chart, page 106) soft-ripe Fuyu-type persimmons; or 1 1/2 pounds (see chart) soft-ripe Hachiya-type persimmons

3 cups sugar

1 pouch (3 oz.) liquid pectin

1/4 cup lemon juice

Cut or pull off stems from persimmons; discard stems. If Fuyu types are firm enough, peel with a knife. For soft fruit, cut in half and scoop out pulp. Discard any seeds and skin.

If using Fuyu-type persimmons, mash pulp, or coarsely chop using a knife or food processor (do not puree); you should have 1 1/2 cups fruit.

If using Hachiya-type persimmons, cut pulp into about 1/2-inch chunks; you should have 2 cups fruit.

In a bowl, mix fruit and sugar; let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, mix pectin and lemon juice; add to fruit and stir gently for 3 minutes (mixing vigorously traps air bubbles, making the jam cloudy). Fill 1/2-pint jars or freezer containers to 1/2 inch of rim. Cover, and let stand 12 to 16 hours at room temperature. You can store unopened jam in covered jars in the refrigerator up to 6 months, up to 1 month if opened. Or freeze to store longer; cover and chill thawed jam. Makes 4 cups.

Short-cook Fuyu-type Persimmon Jam

Hachiya persimmons are unsuitable for this recipe and other cooked preserves, because they become very astringent when heated.

3 pounds (see chart, page 106) soft-ripe Fuyu-type persimmons

6 cups sugar

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 pouch (3 oz.) liquid pectin or 1 envelope (1 3/4 or 2 oz.) dry pectin

Cut or pull stems from persimmons; discard stems. If fruit is firm enough, peel with a knife. For soft fruit, cut in half and scoop out pulp. Cut large pieces of fruit into 1/2-inch chunks; discard the peel and any seeds.

If using liquid pectin, combine persimmon chunks with sugar and lemon juice in a 6- to 8-quart pan; set aside for 15 minutes. Place pan on high heat and bring persimmon mixture to a rolling boil that can't be stirred down; stir constantly. Remove from heat and add pectin; stir for 3 minutes. Skim off foam.

If using dry pectin, in pan mix pectin with persimmon chunks and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Still stirring, add sugar and return to a boil that cannot be stirred down; boil exactly 2 minutes, stirring. Remove from heat and skim off foam.

To store in the refrigerator, pour jam into serving-size jars; let cool, cover, and chill up to 6 months if jars are unopened, up to 1 month if opened.

To can jam, follow directions below on canning Fuyu-type persimmon mixtures; use 1/2-pint canning jars. Store in a cool, dark place. If jars do not seal, store in the refrigerator up to 6 months, up to 1 month if opened. Makes 7 1/2 cups.

How to can Fuyu-type persimmon mixtures

Immerse jars and jar rings in boiling water to cover. Hold at a gentle simmer at least 10 minutes. Heat lids in water according to manufacturer's directions. To use, drain jars on a clean towel.

Ladle hot persimmon mixture into jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of rim. If mixture is thick, run a narrow spatula down between food and jar to release air bubbles. Wipe jar rims clean. Cover with hot lids; firmly screw on rings, but do not force.

Choose a deep pan with rack that will hold the jars side by side. Place jars on the rack, and add boiling water to cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Bring water to simmering (180|); hold at simmer for 10 minutes.

Lift jars from water and set on a towel. Don't tilt jars (even to drain water from lids). Let stand until cool. Test seal by pressing center of lid. If it stays down, seal is good. Store in a cool, dark place.

If the jar is not sealed, store as directed in each recipe. Unopened jars will keep up to 6 months; opened jars, with more surfaces exposed to air, may

develop mold if stored for more than 1 month.

Fuyu-type Persimmon Jelly

About 2 pounds (see chart, page 106) crisp-ripe Fuyu-type persimmons

1 cup water

2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 thin slice fresh ginger, about 1 1/2-inch diameter; or 1 cinnamon stick, 2 to 3 inches long

1 pouch (3 oz.) liquid pectin

Rinse persimmons. Cut or pull off stems and discard. Chop unpeeled fruit into 3/4-inch pieces and discard any seeds; you need 6 cups fruit.

In a 3- to 4-quart pan, combine persimmons and water; bring to boiling. Reduce heat to simmering, cover, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Line a colander with 8 layers of wet cheesecloth; set colander in a bowl. Pour persimmon mixture into colander and let stand until liquid has drained into bowl; do not squeeze pulp through cheesecloth. Discard pulp. You should have 1 cup juice; if you have more, boil in pan until reduced to 1 cup; if you have less, add water to make 1 cup.

In pan, mix persimmon juice with sugar, lemon juice, and ginger or cinnamon. Stirring constantly on high heat, bring to a rolling boil that can't be stirred down. Add pectin. Return to a rolling boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring. Remove from heat and quickly skim off foam.

To can jam, follow preceding directions on canning Fuyu-type persimmon mixtures, using 1/2-pint canning jars. Store in a cool, dark place. If jars do not seal, store them in the refrigerator up to 6 months, up to 1 month if opened. Makes 2 cups.

Fuyu-type Persimmon Syrup

Pour over pancakes or ice cream, or into sparkling water or dry white wine to sip.

Follow directions for Fuyu-type persimmon jelly, preceding, combining fruit, water, sugar, lemon juice, and ginger or cinnamon in pan; omit liquid pectin.

Bring to a boil on high heat, stirring; reduce heat and boil gently until flavor of ginger or cinnamon permeates syrup, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and skim off any foam.

To use syrup freshly cooked or after storing in the refrigerator, offer hot, cool, or reheated; store cool syrup, covered, in the refrigerator up to 1 month.

To can, pour syrup into hot, clean 1/2-pint jars to within 1/4 inch of rim, following preceding directions on how to can Fuyu-type persimmon mixtures. If jars do not seal, store in the refrigerator up to 6 months, up to 1 month if opened. Or freeze in easy-to-use units. Shake to mix well before using. Makes 2 cups.

Persimmon Nectar

Hachiya types make a brighter nectar because they are only gently heated; Fuyu types fade more. Freeze to store.

About 3 pounds (see chart, page 106) soft-ripe Hachiya-type persimmons; or about 3 pounds (see chart) crisp to soft-ripe Fuyu-type persimmons

Water

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup lemon juice

Cut or pull off stems from persimmons; discard stems. If Fuyu-types are firm enough, peel with a knife. For soft fruit, cut in half and scoop out pulp. Discard any seeds and skin.

If using Hachiya-type persimmons, puree pulp in a food processor or blender.

If using Fuyu-type persimmons, finely chop fruit, then place in a 4- to 5-quart pan with 5 cups water. Bring to a boil on high heat; cover and simmer fruit until soft enough to mash, about 20 minutes. Puree fruit with liquid in a food processor or blender.

Blend persimmon puree with sugar and lemon juice. Add enough water to Hachiya-type puree to make 2 quarts; add water to Fuyu-type puree to make 2 1/2 quarts.

To serve nectar, cover and chill until cold; store nectar up to 1 month in the refrigerator. Or freeze in easy-to-use units.

To can Fuyu-type nectar only, pour syrup into hot, clean 6-pint canning jars to within 1/4 inch of rim, following preceding directions on how to can Fuyu-type persimmon mixtures. If jars do not seal, store in the refrigerator up to 6 months, up to 1 month if opened. Or freeze in easy-to-use units. Shake to mix well before using.

Makes 2 quarts Hachiya nectar, 2 1/2 quarts Fuyu nectar.

Fuyu-type Brandied Persimmons

Spoon over pound cake or ice cream, or layer in trifle; sip any extra brandy-flavored syrup or serve over sliced fresh persimmons.

4 to 5 pounds (see chart, page 106) crisp-ripe Fuyu-type persimmons

1 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup brandy

3 tablespoons lemon juice

Pull or cut off stems from persimmons; discard stems. Peel fruit with a sharp knife or vegetable peeler and discard peel. Cut persimmons crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds; discard any seeds.

In a 2- to 3-quart pan, bring water to a boil on high heat. Add 1/4 of the fruit at a time to the water; cover and, when boiling resumes, cook 1 minute. Lift fruit from pan with a slotted spoon. Measure water and add enough to make 2 cups; return to pan and set aside.

Firmly pack persimmons into 4 hot jars, 1-pint size.

Add sugar to water and bring to a boil on high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add brandy and lemon juice.

Pour enough hot syrup into jars to fill within 1/4 inch of rim (save extra syrup; suggestions for use follow recipe title).

To can fruit, follow preceding directions on how to can Fuyu-type persimmon mixtures. Store in a cool, dark place at least 2 weeks before serving; if unsealed, store in refrigerator up to 6 months, up to 1 month if opened. Makes 4 pints.

Fuyu-type Persimmon Chili Pickles

Eat with lamb; cheddar, stilton, or blue cheeses; or grilled cheese sandwiches.

4 pounds (see chart, page 106) crisp-ripe Fuyu-type persimmons

3 medium-size onions

2 medium-size green bell peppers, stemmed and seeded

8 medium-size cloves garlic

12 small dried hot red chilies

6 cups water

2 1/2 cups white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon picking spices

Cut or pull off stems from persimmons; discard stems. Peel fruit with a sharp knife or vegetable peeler and discard peel. Cut persimmons into 1-inch wedges, discarding any seeds. Cut the onions and bell peppers into 1-inch squares; set fruit and vegetables aside.

Peel and slightly crush the garlic; break each chili in half.

In a 4- to 6-quart pan, bring garlic, chili, water, vinegar, salt, and pickling spices to boiling on high heat. Add 1/4 of the persimmons to boiling liquid; cover and, when rolling boil resumes, cook 30 seconds. Lift fruit from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Repeat to cook remaining fruit.

Pour 1/8 of the onions into each of 8 hot canning jars, 1-pint size. Add 1/8 of the persimmons to each jar, then top with 1/8 of the bell peppers. Bring cooking liquid to boiling and pour equally into each jar, filling to within 1/4 inch of rim.

Can fruit, following preceding directions on canning Fuyu-type persimmon mixtures. Store in a cool, dark place at least 2 weeks before serving. If jars do not seal, store up to 6 months in the refrigerator, up to 1 month if opened. Makes 8 pints.

Photo: Preparing preserves to enjoy year-round, she scoops pulp from soft-ripe persimmons. Hachiya type are in paper bag and basket; Fuyu type fill colander at left
COPYRIGHT 1987 Sunset Publishing Corp.
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Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:Oct 1, 1987
Words:2026
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