I have a problem. A 65 year-old problem that causes issues in my marriage. I say it's not a problem at all, but my husband thinks it's messy. And he doesn't care for it in the first place, so the messiness is really just the cherry on top of the "I Hate You" sundae. He wants to get rid of it. I'm willing to chain myself to it with all the fervor of a Berkeley hippie.
Oh persimmon tree, why can't he love you like I do?
Oh yeah, it's because you're giant and you produce far too many persimmons (is there really such a thing?). It's because the persimmons we can't reach, inevitably fall to the ground with a grand, orange splat.
Splats that I casually walk over;
splats that my husband seethes over;
splats that he eventually cleans up, in the cold of winter, while I happily mix up a batch of persimmon cookies in a cozy kitchen.
This year I was determined to not let the persimmon tree come between us. And so I embarked on a bold plan to get those persimmons off the tree, put them to use, come hell or high water (and it was a very rainy season, I have to say!). Luckily, I had my girls to help me out.
Cue song: Here we come to save the day!
Valerie, Akemi, Eunice, Grace and Adriana (along with her young canner in the making, A) came over for a canning party. Together, we canned brandied persimmons, and were able to get some holiday gifts out of the way.
If you receive a jar of these persimmons from any of us, know that it was made with love and much laughter…And while we were all hopped up on Valerie's 'smores tartes!
More after the jump!
Whoa! Those were good! Check out how she torches those marshmallows! Get 'em, Val!
All said, nearly 30 jars of brandied persimmons were canned, and bags of fresh persimmons were pulled from the tree and carried away. My husband returned from his business trip to a much more naked tree and a see-I-told-you-so smile on my face.
(makes five pint jars of brandied persimmons)
5 pounds crisp-ripe Fuyu-type persimmons
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup brandy
3 tablespoons lemon juice
This recipe goes fast, so you'll want to prepare your jars and lids first. Immerse jars and lids in boiling water to cover. Hold at a gentle simmer for at least 10 minutes.
Pull or cut off stems from persimmons; discard stems. Peel fruit with a vegetable peeler and discard peel (compost if you got it!).
Note: Not all persimmons have seeds. I find a seed in about 1 out of every 6 persimmons. It's usually one large seed and easily removed.
In a 2- to 3-quart stainless steel pan, bring water to a boil on high heat. Add fruit; cover and, when boiling resumes, cook 1 minute. Lift fruit from pan with a slotted spoon and put into a reserved bowl. Measure water and add enough to make 2 cups; return to pan and set aside.
Firmly pack persimmons into hot pint-sized wide mouth jars.
Note: Because of the width of the persimmon rings, you will need wide mouth jars. Otherwise they won't look as pretty. And we all want pretty, right?
Add sugar to water and bring to a boil on high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add brandy and lemon juice.
Ladle hot persimmon mixture into jars, filling to 1/4 inch of rim. Pour slowly because the width of the persimmon rings might make the liquid slow to reach the bottom of the jar. If mixture is thick, run a narrow spatula or butter knife down between food and jar to release air bubbles. Wipe jar rims clean. Cover with hot lids; firmly screw on rings, but do not force.
Note: Save extra syrup; suggestions for use follow.
Process in a canner bath, covering jars with 1 to 2 inches of water. Bring water to boil; hold at a boil for 15 minutes at sea level, more depending on altitude or larger size of jar.
Remove canner lid and let jars rest for 5 minutes before removing from the water. Lift jars from water and set on a towel. Don't tilt jars (even to drain water from lids). Let stand until cool. Test seal after 24 hours by pressing center of lid. If it stays down, seal is good. Store in a cool, dark place.
Note: The picture below is blurry, but I loved all the jars so I had to include it!
If the jar is not sealed, store in your refrigerator. Unopened jars will keep up to 6 months; opened jars, with more surfaces exposed to air, may develop mold if stored for more than 1 month.
Using extra syrup from recipe: Spoon over pound cake or ice cream, or layer the syrup and persimmons in a trifle; sip any extra brandy-flavored syrup; add to bubbly water or champagne; serve over sliced fresh persimmons.
To pretty up your jars for gifting, like the picture at top, I used instructions from Domestifluff. I even created labels similar to her's. If you're making brandied persimmons, you can Download Brandied-Persimmon-Labels.