Knit Flix

Monday, December 07, 2009

Winter fruit (and brandy)

It's interesting to see the fruits and vegetables come in and out of season at the Farmers' Market. Where there were heirloom tomatoes there are squash and root veggies, and blueberries and nectarines have been replaced with apples and persimmons.

We had persimmons when I was growing up. In the winter there was a line of Hachiyas ripening on top of the stove. Hachiya is the pointy variety that are soft and squishy when ready to eat. We didn't cook with them, but ate them as a sweet treat.

Our market has bushels full of Fuyus so I thought I'd try my hand at preserving them. Fuyus are shaped like a tomato and can be eaten when they're still a bit firm. Don't try that with a Hachiya! Hachiya's have high levels of tannins and they're not pleasant to eat before they're soft. You'll feel like your tongue is covered in wool.

There are persimmon jam and jelly recipes online, but they use so much sugar--almost one cup of sugar per cup of jam--I wanted to find some other way of putting them up.

I stumbled across a Sunset Magazine recipe for Brandied Persimmons that only uses 1-1/2c sugar for 4-5 lbs of fruit. Winner!

On Sunday we headed to the market and the Fuyus were $1.50 per lb or 5 lbs for $5. It doesn't get much better than that. We went home with 5 lbs of fruit.

Fuyu Persimmons

Then I realized I only had 7 half-pint jars available, not 4 pint jars. I played it safe and only prepared 4 lbs and cut the pieces smaller so they'd fit in the little jars.

Brandied Persimmons

The flavor is supposed to develop in a couple of weeks so I don't know how they taste yet. The syrup was pretty good, so I think they'll be a nice treat.

I'm looking for ideas for the remaining pound of Fuyus. Any suggestions?

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