So I didn’t just make jam with all the persimmons. We grilled them, made chutney, threw chicken in, and boiled up some crappy syrup. (Not all at the same time!) That’s not even the end of it – I haven’t even scratched the surface of all these persimmon possibilities. These are a few ways we used the fruits of our harvest.
During the initial harvest when I enlisted Kent’s help in denuding the tree of the fruits from the higher branches that L wasn’t able to reach – a perilous endeavour – we sat in the kitchen afterwards feasting on persimmons. It was his idea to pop a few slices in the toaster oven. Grilling your persimmons makes a simple fruit snack twice as good – it removes some of the water content from the fruit, the flavour tightening and deepening to a caramel-like roasted sweetness.
This was the first thing we made using our persimmons, by L’s request – not bad, fruity with a mild spice kick. I don’t eat much chutney (although caramelised onion and fig chutney is incredible) so I wouldn’t repeat it unless by request from L or someone else. Find the recipe at Saveur.
chicken simmered in persimmon jam
I can’t take any credit for this one. Shortly after the first harvest, Kent came over to cook us dinner, and among the several dishes he whipped up that night (as an ex-chef does, no biggie) was chicken thighs simmered in a mix of persimmon chutney, persimmon black pepper jam and reduced persimmon puree, and later seasoned with salt and topped with another dollop of chutney. The whole mixture cooks down into a fruity, savoury sauce which begs to be mopped up with bread.
It’s so simple you don’t need a recipe, though I imagine you could make it more elaborate and flavourful like this: brown your chicken thighs. Add alliums – a mix of garlic and onions – and cook till until lightly brown. Deglaze with a little white wine, then add persimmon puree/jam, perhaps a swig more wine, and your chicken. Simmer with a drop lid. Remove the lid and cook down until the sauce is a nice, gloopy consistency. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Voila!
Thinking about this makes me wish I had persimmons again.
After L suggested several times that we make syrup, I ended up trying this recipe. In retrospect, this was not a good idea. I don’t even like syrup, or ingesting it as part of most other foods. Mixing a little maple sugar into this might not have been the smartest thing to do. It wound up tasting like cinnamon and maple had a one night stand and it ended on bad terms. Persimmon didn’t even bother sticking around after the first drink and it’s still nowhere to be found.
For real, though, never mind the recipe’s suggestion of several broken sticks. One stick of cinnamon came through very strongly, and my kitchen smelt like a cinnamon sewer. It was just too intense for me, man. (Please imagine this last sentence in a faux hippie-dude accent.)
Anyway, yeah. Didn’t like it. The syrup is still languishing in the fridge. Try making at your own peril.