Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Persimmon Jam

I wonder how many people in Japan are watching the TV programs on Princess (should I say ex-princess?) Sayako’s wedding at this very moment. I’m really amazed that a Japanese online news site, Mainichi Daily News, already uploaded photos from her wedding which was held just this morning! OK. Call me a lowbrow, but just like numerous obachans throughout this country, I love watching the dresses and foods at imperial ceremonies...

Persimmon Jam

Well, this post has absolutely nothing to do with the royal (?) wedding. : ) It’s persimmon season now here in Japan, and I made a few jars of jam using persimmons from my dad’s orchard the other day. With some spices (cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon) and lots of lemon juice, the jam turned out pretty good, and I love it with yogurt or cream cheese. The only problem is that the jam doesn’t taste like persimmon almost at all… ;P

For me persimmon is a symbol of autumn afternoon. With these persimmons, I tried to take a shot that really reflects the atmosphere of an autumn afternoon...

but this photo didn’t turn out the way I wanted. ;P


Thaaniya said...

Had persimmon as fruit many times, but never had it as jam... looks yum!

Anonymous said...

My mum still speaks of Japanese persimmons with a misty look in her eyes. Nothing compares she says, it is unbearably good.

But we can't get them in Singapore or Malaysia, the persimmons here come from Israel or New Zealand.

Robyn said...

I just bought a case of persimmons a few days ago! I always stock up on persimmons during persimmon season, although I've never made stuff out of em. Ehh...peeling and stuffing them into my mouth works fine. ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi Obachan - I've never had persimmon jam before; it look sumptuous. There must be something with this years' Fuyu persimmons. My Wife usually only likes Hachiya persimmons - though this year she says the Fuyus taste better - we've been buying them in 4-5lb quantities every week. Though the prices are really good this year - 49 cents (US) a pound.

Anonymous said...

Hi Obachan! I love persimmons but had never heard of making jam with them - do you think you'd be kind enough to share your recipe for the yummy jam you made?

Anonymous said...

Lovely pictures, and thanks for introducing me to the concept of persimmon jam. These are fuyus?

rae said...

we must be on the same wavelength 'cause i have a ton of hachiya persimmons i want to jam but i've not found a promising looking recipe for them. i know you used fuyu but i can't bear to preserve them - they're just too good fresh!!!question: did you have a recipe for the jam? did you can them using a water bath? if it doesn't taste like persimmons, what does it taste like?

Anonymous said...

Does cooking the persimmon take away the properties that make one's mouth feel "fuzzy"? I love persimmons, but they make my mouth and throat feel fuzzy.....I was wondering if the process of heat or cooking took away those properties.....

obachan said...

Thanks. I guess persimmon jam is not very popular in and outside Japan yet.

It’s nice to hear that your mum loves Japanese persimmons so much. I’m really curious about what the persimmons from Israel or NZ taste like.

Honestly, I think that’s the best way to fully appreciate the taste of persimmons…

It was a lovely wedding, wasn’t it? It had been common for emperor’s female children to marry commoners and leave royal family, so we heard that Empress Michiko had exposed her daughter to the “real world” a lot since her early childhood. But it is going to change… soon we may see Emperor’s daughter staying in the royal family and becoming a female emperor!

It’s been amazing that you guys know a lot about different kinds of persimmons…I only care about the difference between sweet type and astringent type, and that’s it :) Anyway I guess this is a bumper year for persimmons. My mom said on the phone that dad’s persimmon trees, both sweet and astringent, had lots of fruits this year. She has been busy treating astringent ones with alcohol and eating/giving away the sweet ones, but still has a lot left. I taught her how to make jam out of them, so she might have tried it (without spices, because she doesn’t like them.) Isn’t hachiya astringent kind? How do you eat them? Do you dry them? Forty-nine cents a pound sounds like a dream to us… here one persimmon costs about US$ 1. :(

Hi! I’ll see what I can do. Can you email me at the address in my profile?

Thanks for your comment, but I was kinda afraid of this question… : ) I honestly don’t know what kind of persimmons my dad’s are. There seem to be several different kinds of non-astringent persimmons here with different names, and I don't know exactly which kind my dad's are. I never asked my parents and I guess they are not sure, either.

Isn’t hachiya astringent ones? They may not be suitable for making jam… It was mentioned on several Japanese websites that they are not good for making jam, because even though they became sweet once (naturally or by treating with alcohol), the astringent taste of tannin comes back when heated. I guess peeling & drying them or using alcohol would be a safer bet.
Yep, I had a recipe (that calls for non-astringent type persimmons) but I didn’t really follow it. Yep, I canned them using a water bath. The taste? Well… it tasted like just plain, sweet chunks with a bit tartness from lemon juice and flavor of spices. I could not detect persimmon taste at all. It was not bad, though, as far as you don't worry about preserving persimmon flavor.

What kind of persimmons make your mouth feel “fuzzy?” If that fuzzy feel was caused by tannin, heating would probably make it worse, according to several Japanese websites. Some say that mayonnaise works to lessen the astringent taste, but I’m not sure if it works for the fuzzy feel that you are talking about… sorry.

Anonymous said...

Hi Obachan - Yes Hachiya is the astringent - tongue numbing type of persimmon. The key is to let the fruit ripen to the point that the "skin" is translucent, and ready to fall off, and it looks like a blister ready to pop - it's very sweet at that point. If we find one in that condition at the Market, we'll hold it delicately in both hands so as not to break the skin, i'm guessing we look pretty strange - what happens is that as the fruit ripens the tannins become inert so the astringency disappears.

obachan said...

Hi kirk,
Actually that’s how my family eats astringent persimmons while harvesting them in dad’s orchard. If we see some that are really ripe (like you said) on the trees, we eat them there right away, and I do know how good they taste! :D It’s a real treat. But for the astringent ones which are not that ripe, we take them home and immediately process them somehow. In the past we stored some of them in the kitchen or storage to wait until they become really really ripe and sweet, then forgot to check on them, and ended up making a mess. ;P

Anonymous said...

I loved the photos of kaki fruit - just been given a big box of them by my neighbour in spain and looking for good recipes found my way to your blog - however there is a blank under the recipe heading - please tell mehow to make persimmon jam!! Thank you Trudy

obachan said...

Hi trudy,
So sorry that I didn't respond for such a long time. (I'm so bad with the comments to my old posts...)
I cannot find the recipe I used when I posted this entry, and whatever the recipe was, I'm sure I didn't follow it exactly anyway. Here's a recipe I found recently on a Japanese website, but I have no idea what it'd taste like ...

1 kg persimmon, peeled, seeded and chopped
sugar (25 - 30% of the weight of persimmon)
35 - 50 cc lemon juice
spices of your choice (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.)

Georgina of the Rainbows said...

Obachan, thank you for the wonderful insights! I just tried using persimmons in jam-making recently with the same kind of fruit you used. I am excited to try your recipe this week for our second batch! :)


Anonymous said...

I know that this is an old post, but I just found out first hand that canning Hachiya by boiling reactivates the tannins somehow. I hope to help others from making the same mistake.

I was up late making a big batch of jam from super ripe Hachiya last night and it turned horribly astringent. Now I am scouring the web to find a way to deactivate the tannins after-the-fact.

Maybe it will lessen with age, much like leaving the fruit to ripen on the counter. Somehow I doubt I will be so lucky!