Indian Spiced Persimmon Jam
Ever had near disaster experiences when experimenting/creating something you've never cooked before? Well today was the first in a long time for me, as I'm a pretty avid cook.
Today my neighbor showed up with boxes of persimmons from the fruit market. This variety are called the Hachiya Persimmons. These are by far the most tannic persimmons I have ever tasted... it was as if (even though they were so mushy and practically falling apart-looking rotten) they were not even ripe yet. She, not being a cook at all, thought I could help her with some last minute jamming for her friends and coworkers as holiday gifts... I've got to tell you- this was a pain in the ass. We pulled it off though. But sadly, we wasted so many persimmons getting this right. We couldn't use any that remotely had firmness in order to pull this off. And if we cooked this at all, it would become so bitter and chalky from the tannins that it was completely inedible. After nearly feeling defeated (she was almost in tears, feeling so bad for choosing such a frustrating fruit to work with), we just happened to try the goopy persimmons that we were going to throw away because they looked rotten. Then, and only then, was this remotely edible. Truly the strangest thing I have ever experienced. The fruit from first batch of jam that we threw out had persimmons with the consistency of a very soft and ripe mango, but we couldn't use them, still too firm, bitter and tannic! It was as if we were chewing on sticks of chalk- seriously! By the time this was over with we managed to make a delicious jam, which tastes a lot like pumpkin pie filling, but slightly more floral. Here's what we used:
-25 Hachiya Persimmons (completely goopy and waaaaay overly ripe)
-fresh grated ginger, plus its juices
-raw cane sugar
We didn't measure anything after a while- we did it by feel and taste. Important to note: The only heat that this fruit received was from the canning process when sealing the jars in boiling water.
After all this hard work (and sugar), there is still a very slight bitter aftertaste. I have just resolved that this is just the nature of Hachiya persimmons.
In my personal opinion, I would not attempt this again unless I was using a Fuyu variety persimmon.