Try your hand at persimmon jam

Persimmon Jam is a way to use wild persimmons found in many area trees and yards.

My cousin issued a challenge to make something with wild persimmons. We both have a tree in our yards but never really used the fruit.

While I hadn’t made anything from the fruit, I have found it all over my yard and driveway.

Last week, I took my dog, Lucy, for a walk around the yard and gathered up some persimmons to use for a jam recipe.

Before making the recipe, I did a little persimmon research.

Through an online search, I discovered wild persimmons are high in vitamin C and are best eaten when very ripe, squishy and possibly starting to wrinkle. These provide the sweetest taste.

If you try to eat one that’s not ripe enough, they can make your mouth pucker and leave a chalky taste.

Wild persimmons are also much smaller than what you typically buy in a store.

Armed with this knowledge, I began to make some jam.

The recipe I found is really for the larger persimmons so you will have to adjust for the smaller ones you find in your yard. I just made a small amount to give it a try.

Know first off that this process could take you a while. One, because wild persimmon’s are so much smaller than the ones used in this recipe. Two, the seeds. These small persimmons are filled with seeds to remove. You will need several fruits to make up the meat inside to use for the jam due to the size and the seeds you’ll have to remove.

According to what I read online, the seeds can cause some stomach issues if you eat a large amount.

I also read that the skin is edible so I left the skin on the persimmons.

Once cooked and put into the jam, it is a nice golden orange color and shiny. This creates a jam with a great fall coloring for a variety of breads. The author of this recipe also said the jam is also good to top a cheesecake.

Making jam or other items with this fruit can be a fun experiment using a fruit that might be found in your yard.

Persimmon Jam

6 large persimmons (peeled)

1 cup sugar

1 lemon (juiced)

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Make sure you use ripe persimmons.

Clean persimmons, peel, if you spot any seeds, discard them. Puree the fruit using a food processor. You should have between 1½ and 2 cups of puree.

Peel the persimmons, chop and place in a food processor. Pulse until you are left with a smooth puree.

Transfer persimmon puree into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and add sugar. Boil for 15 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally.

In a small bowl, mix water and cornstarch until the cornstarch is dissolved. Add the mixture to the persimmon puree followed by the lemon juice and boil on low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, for another 15 minutes or until slightly thickened. If you want the jam thicker, add another round of cornstarch and water mix. Don’t add cornstarch directly. It will create lumps if not dissolved with water first.

Let the jam cool to room temperature.

Pour into sterilized jars and seal, store in the freezer or pour into Mason jars that can be closed airtight and store in the refrigerator for immediate consumption for up to seven to 10 days.

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1740 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

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