know about other people but I've gotten to the point where it's impossible
to pass the preponderance of plump persimmons, pleading to be picked.
Consequently, I pick a passel, pounds per day. Perchance
you are perplexed, pondering the practical purpose to which this
profusion of persimmons might be
put. Well ponder no more. Presenting Richard Persimmons'
(one of my numerous noms de cuisine)...
Texas Aerobic Persimmon Butter
Gather persimmons while ye may. Now's the time, the peak of perfection
in plumpness and sweetness. We're talking about wild, native
Texas persimmons here. These gnarly, smooth-barked, light gray
trees are known more for their wonderful, super-hard wood (sometimes
called "ironwood"). I love them for the way they look
and would be happy to have them just for their decorative properties.
Getting fruit from these trees is a stupendous, seasonal bonus.
are small fruit, green and round, ranging in size from a dime
to a quarter.
turn black when ripe. Don't pick them before they ripen. If they
contain even a little green it's best to leave them on the tree.
Or even (gasp!) toss them if you happen to mistakenly pick unripe
fruit. Most of the time, if they come off the branch easily,
they are good (unless they are squished, wrinkled or show evidence
of bird pecks or ant infestations). It doesn't matter how many
you pick. This is a totally scaleable recipe.
Use a measuring cup to put the picked persimmons into a pot.
Add about 1-2 ounces of water (not critical) for each cup of
persimmons. Start to heat up the pot on a low to moderate heat.
While it heats up, mash the fruit with a potato masher. Mash
it good (this is the aerobic part). Your goal here is to get
the delicious pulpy meat of the fruit separated from the stringy
skin and slightly astringent seeds (which are plentiful).
After it's mashed and heated up for a while (like 5-10 minutes)
and stirred occasionally to prevent sticking, push the goo through
a big strainer into a bowl, mashing some more and getting out
as much juice and pulp as possible.
4) Transfer the strained liquid into a pot.
I use another pot so I can strain is small batches, leaving the
unstrained in the original pot.
5) Cook on a low heat with no cover, stirring
frequently, to reduce down to the consistency of your choice.
Butter takes maybe a half hour, depending on the volume. Syrup
takes less time. Juice takes the addition of a little extra water
and hardly cooking at all. All are good and have their uses.
put the finished product up using traditional canning methods:
Pour the hot stuff into sterilized jars, put on the lids and
boil in a canner for about 10 minutes. Pull them out and when
the lids pop, they are canned and should keep for a long time. These
14 jars are less than half of what I've put up so far this season.
I ain't stopping 'til the trees stop popping.
Ok, so now you are stuck with all these jars
of goopy black stuff. Oh my, what to do?
A) Use like jelly, with peanut butter on bread.
B) Put on ice cream.
C) Stir into milk.
D) Use the syrup in a marinade for fish or meat before cooking. I have done
this with salmon and it's scrumptious.
E) Those are all great but here's my fave:
Stuffed peppers with persimmon sauce:
1) I've done this with Giant Marconi banana peppers that we grow and also with
poblanos. Each requires its own prep. No matter what kind, first cut
off the tops and pull out the seeds. If it's poblanos, char them on the
stove's flame or on a grill to get the skins off. With the Marconis (or
bell or many other peppers) I just plunge them in boiling water for a
few minutes to soften them up, then put in cold water to cool them down.
2) Make up the stuffing. This could be just about anything. I've used yellow
squash from the garden, onions, rice, shrimp, chicken all in varying combinations.
Here's one easy one:
Pre-cooked chicken from the supermarket, chopped up into small pieces
A medium yellow squash, chopped up into small cubes
A clove of garlic, few leaves of fresh basil and fresh oregano (if you don't
have the fresh, use the dried or leave it out entirely), all chopped up
A medium onion, chopped small
Fry all but the chicken in a little oil until
the onions are cooked, mix in the chicken (or shrimp or whatever)
and put in a bowl to cool a bit.
3) Stuff the mixture into the peppers, spooning
it in then stuffing it down with your hands (this is why it's good
to cool the stuffing first).
4) Arrange the peppers in a Pyrex baking dish and drizzle on persimmon syrup
(as much as you like).
5) Cover with as much grated cheese as you like (I use sharp cheddar but it
6) Toss on slices of fresh tomato or whole little tomatoes (I use Texas Wild
teeny tomatoes from the garden but anything will do).
7) Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes (if you are using poblano
peppers or others that have not been pre-boiled, bake longer, like maybe 30
You won't believe the deliciousness. Then try experimenting. This
syrup or butter can enhance lots of things. Let me know if you come
up with anything interesting
offered as is customary for you gluttons for punishment,
here are links to previous postings:
August 9th, 2003 Pedernales Post on the Austin Anti-Redistricting
May 18th, 2003 edition of the Pedernales Post, the Big Bend and
Austin peace march in the February, 2003 edition of the Pedernales Post
NY trip and Mary Jo Freeman (Annie's mom) Memorial in the October, 2002
edition of the Pedernales Post
July, 2002 edition of the Pedernales Post, focusing on the July 6th
June, 2002edition of the Pedernales Post - "What's New in the Neighborhood"
April, 2002 (and inaugural) edition of same, highlighting the old
garden, river & Zac
world-renowned pictures of our house
Susan Lee Solar Memorial site
Management site that we have built and maintain
grandparents' (potentially annoying to others) pictures of
our grandson Zac
last but not least, our own Aim Productions site
to the Top