Friday, December 28, 2012

Cooking with Persimmons

Our persimmon tree is ripening! I was able to pick enough of them to make jam for this years 'jar gifts'. And since I was in the kitchen watching the jam boil, I also made persimmon bread to pass the time. I used a basic banana bread recipe and replaced persimmon pulp for the usual banana mush.

This was my first time making jam, but I combined a few recipes anyways. The recipes I found called for combining all ingredients at once and allowing it to boil for thirty minutes. The basic sugar to persimmon pulp ratio was pretty regular (3 cups of sugar for 5 cups of persimmon pulp), but there was variety in flavoring options: lemon juice or zest, orange juice or zest or a sprinkling of nutmeg. I decided to go with orange juice + lemon zest  because I had orange juice in the fridge (the oranges on our tree aren't orange yet) and lemon zest from one off our tree. I also cut the sugar in half, but letmetellya the jam is still super sweet!

For the first batch of bread, I combined banana and persimmon mushes. Those loaves turned out super dense from so much fruit.

I still have lots of paper lunch sacks from last years gift wrap, so those were used to package the bread. And I purchased an old dictionary from the thrift store for $1 and pulled out pages for accents. I only wish I knew how to write in calligraphy to pretty up my labels! The jars I used were ones I saved from various pasta and brushchetta sauces (labels removed with vinegar soak), and the 4x6 sticky labels fit the height just right.

Jar gifts have become one of my favorite part of the holidays and creating something from our own backyard made it all the more personal and exciting this year. There's still a good amount of persimmons on the tree needing to get mushy so I have a few more recipes with persimmons to try when those are ready!

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