When you are not munching away on a piece of raw fruit and enjoying its freshness you might choose to change your non-astringent persimmons by baking, pickling, or drying. I tried all three methods.
Four non-astringent persimmons were selected for this experiment.
I peeled two and left two unpeeled, then cut and removed the calyx and turfed these into the scrap bin for the compost – but I understand the calyx have medicinal value in Chinese medicine.
I wiped each with a modicum of olive oil and placed on a tray in a preheated oven at 200 degrees, then dropped the temperature gauge to 180 degrees after 15 minutes – the reason? I felt like it. After half an hour I could see liquid rising in those persimmons with their intact skins and bubbling in the depression where the calyx once grew.
Liquid steamed and ran from the surface of the skinned persimmons.
After around 75 minutes all were darkened to a rich chocolate colour – I had gone off and forgotten them. However in that time each had caramelised beautifully. Probably one hour’s baking would be sufficient. Nevertheless the way they turned out was so very tasty even if not looking like a Masterchef offering. Out from the oven, the exuded liquid was like toffee and hardened quickly.
The skins toughened during baking; they were inedible although tasty when sucking the soft baked persimmon flesh from their innards. The two persimmons without skins had shrunk somewhat, however their melt-in –the-mouth softness was delectable. Sweet but not sickly sweet. Baking persimmons can be counted as successful.
One large persimmon was selected for this experiment. I peeled and sliced the fruit into small pieces then filled a small jar.
A pot was heated with apple cider vinegar, a spattering of turmeric powder, a large pinch of rock salt crystals and a dribble of extra virgin olive oil (I noted Asian cooks tend to pickle with oil as well as vinegar). Brought to the boil and simmered for a short while. The cooked liquid was poured into the jar over the persimmon pieces then sealed.
Later in the day, I opened the jar and tasted one piece of pickled persimmon. It was a refreshing sweet and sour sensation, with the simple slippery smoothness of the oil. More testing will take place in the weeks to come but, for now, pickling persimmons can be counted as successful.
I selected four non-astringent persimmons, removed the calyx and peeled them.
Then sliced and placed each on food dryer trays.
After 13.5 hours they were elastically dry. Four dried persimmons are now stored in two small airtight jars.
This was definitely a successful process and now I have more fruit in storage for later this year before the spring and summer fruits arrive.