The first time I ever laid eyes on a persimmon was in 2002 when Mr. Fuji and I moved to Japan for the first time. It was love at first bite. The flesh is creamy and unlike anything I’d ever eaten before, with hints of mango, peach, and orange, yet a flavor all its own. This bright orange fruit is very popular in Japan, which I totally understand because it is delicious. Unfortunately it is not as popular here, though with each passing year it seems to be easier to find. A few years ago my friend Kenny started sending us a box of fresh Fuyu persimmons each year, picked from his tree, because he knows how much we love them. Receiving that box a few weeks ago was like opening up a box of sunshine.
I piled the fruit into a big wooden bowl and set it in the middle of our kitchen table . . . and then we waited. Fuyu persimmons ripen after being picked, like avocados, and so they are perfect for shipping. Unfortunately this also means that they require some patience, of which we seem to be lacking, because at least 2 times a day one of the kids would ask if they were “ready yet.” Right about the time the persimmons started to soften, I was lamenting the fact that I had to give away my store of strawberry freezer jam that I had made this summer, due to our unexpectedly quick move to Utah. Then I had the idea of making freezer jam with some of the persimmons.
I decided to use an instant pectin to make the jam, which allows you to preserve the fresh flavor of the fruit, because it doesn’t require any cooking. I added a bit of lemon juice as well, to keep the flavor bright once the sugar was added. Verdict? SUCCESS!! The jam preserves the bright flavor and color of the persimmons, and is absolutely divine spread on a slice of toast with a bit of butter. I will be adding persimmons to my annual freezer jam rotation.
Fuyu Persimmon Freezer Jam
Makes 5 half pints (8 ounces) of jam
3 cups fuyu persimmon puree
2 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons instant pectin
1. Stir the fuyu persimmon puree, granulated sugar, and lemon juice together in a bowl, then let the mixture stand for 10 minutes.
2. Add the pectin gradually, stirring to prevent clumping. Once all of the pectin has been added, continue stirring the jam for 3 minutes.
3. Ladle the jam into clean jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace to allow for expansion during freezing. Once the jars are filled, put the lids on and let the jam stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, then place in the freezer.