Persimmon (Diospyros spp): “dios” and “pyros” basically work together to mean “divine fruit”
Alas, it’s persimmon time in Mississippi… The Deep South is dotted with wild persimmons (Diospyros virginiana) and I’ve been snacking on those. However, to make jam, I went for the large, cultivated fellas from the lovely local orchard, Reese Orchard. Reese has mostly fuyu persimmons which can be eaten raw (and like an apple) due to their low to no astrigency and no tannins.
I went out to Reese’s just a few days ago. They have fruit from July to November, usually (pears, blueberries, some applies, muscadines, and fuyu persimmons). I really appreciated how the orchard of cultivated fuyu persimmons was also dappled with wild persimmon trees. I suspect this was done for pollination efforts as you need a male and female persimmon tree for fruition magic to happen. And, probably this helps with genetic resiliency, health, and vigor of the trees.
In many Asian countries, persimmons are symbolic of abundance and prosperity. Persimmons are combined in many traditional recipes, both savory and sweet. They are eaten fresh, dried, raw or cooked.
In the Deep South, there is a tradition of reading the seeds of the wild persimmon to predict what kind of Winter is coming. I really didn’t even know of this practice until this year, when friends of mine in Mississippi starting posting their persimmon seed forecasting pics just a couple of weeks ago.
Basically, a fork, a knife or a spoon will be seen in the center of a split seed. A fork means a mild winter; a knife means a winter that is cuttingly cold and icy; a spoon means there will be snow to shovel.
Word on the street is that everyone got spoons in their seeds this year. Will I really need a shovel in Mississippi? I suppose I will find out.
I’ve made persimmon molasses ale before that turned out pretty good. And, it’s been known that persimmon wine is made around here… I’ve actually been thinking about making a persimmon syrup. Feel free to share links to your persimmon creations below.
I harvested quite a bit of ripe fruit from the trees and came home to make jam. The recipe turned out great and I’ll share it below. A couple of morning after we made the jam, I made almond meal persimmon scones. They were incredibly yum, so I’ll share that recipe as well. The recipes are below!
Ginger-lemon Persimmon Jam
I simply followed this recipe by Pomona’s Pectin, but ADDED 2-3″ chunk of ginger, finely grated, 1/2-1 lemon peel zest, and almost 1 Tablespoon of powdered cinnamon. Because ripe persimmons are SO incredibly sweet, I reduced the amount of raw, organic sugar to just 1/8 cup.
Almond-meal Persimmon Scones
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, put baking sheet with parchment paper to the side
Mix dry ingredients:
2 1/2 cup of almond meal flour
1/4 cup arrowroot powder (or just add more almond meal flour if you don’t have this)
1/2 tsp salt
Whisk together these ingredients:
1/3 cup melted butter
1 Tablespoon sucanat, raspadura, coconut sugar, or organic sugar
1 cup of ripe persimmons (about 3 persimmons)
Fold these ingredients together in a bowl
Dallop 1/2 cup of the batter onto the parchment-lined baking sheet; makes about 6 scones
Bake for 15 minutes, test with a fork