The Sauce: Persimmon Mango Jam – Combine Fuyu persimmons with mangos for an unusual jam that tastes like tropical apricot and has a glistening orange hue.
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Lucky for me, every year mom used to make persimmon pudding, a dense, moist cake-like dessert during persimmon season. We lived in Van Nuys, California where a generous family friend had a persimmon tree in her yard. I don’t recall if they were a Fuyu or Hachiya variety. Mainly grown in China, Japan, Korea and Brazil, persimmons aren’t widely consumed in the United States.
A throwback to my childhood, my friend Angie has a tree in her yard and recently shared a large bag of hand-picked Fuyu persimmons. Lucky again, I’m enjoying these semi-exotic fruit is some new ways. They’re shaped like squatty tomatoes with a yellow-orange hue. Once ripe we eat them raw. They taste apricot or plum-like. When they’re not yet soft the flesh is crisp like an Asian pear. Add crunchy chunks to a salad for lightly sweet texture. They don’t discolor like pears and apples so they look as fresh as they taste.
If you buy a case of persimmons cradled in paper nests, a dozen, you’ll have enough for Persimmon Pudding, a salad, a few eaten out of hand and still have several for this exotic jam. With mango thrown in for good measure plus orange zest for concentrated flavor, enjoy this exotic preserve unlike your standard berry jams. It’s sweet, tropical, apricot-like taste with glistening orange color.
For Christmas I’m making Jam Thumbprints filled with Persimmon Mango Jam for special treats and calling them Persimmango Jam Thumbprints. Sail away with a case of persimmons while they’re in season, October through January.
You may also enjoy Pomegranate Jelly.
Recipe: Persimmon Mango Jam
Prep Time: 25 Minutes | Inactive Time: 5 Hours | Cook Time: 12 Minutes | Yield: 8 cups | Level: Moderate
Special Equipment – 8 1-cup canning jars with lids and rings or 4 pint jars, blender or food processor, large bowl, small saucepan
1 Wash and rinse 8 1-cup canning jars with lids and rings in hot soapy water, or run through a cycle in the dishwasher.
2 Remove stems and peel persimmons scraping the pulp away as needed. Cut in chunks if pulp is still firm. Peel and cube mango. Place fruit in a blender or food processor and pulse until the consistency is slightly chunky or completely smooth depending on your preference.
3 Measure exactly 3 cups of pulp and place in a 6-8 quart pot. Use any extra in a smoothie or discard. Add water, lemon juice, orange zest and stir to combine.
4 Measure sugar into a large bowl and set aside.
5 Place the lids into a saucepan and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to boil then reduce to simmer. If the water begins to boil down before you’re ready to seal the jars, add a little more water.
6 Add pectin and butter to the fruit pulp and bring to a full rolling boil, a boil that doesn’t stop boiling when stirred, stirring constantly.
8 Quickly ladle some hot jam into a prepared jar leaving 1/4-inch of air space. Wipe the rim to ensure it is dry and free from any jam drips. Remove a lid from the sauce pan and place it on the jar then screw the ring tight. Repeat until all the jam is filled in jars.
9 Leave jars on the counter for a few hours without disturbing allowing them to seal. You’ll hear a popping sound as each jar seals. After they cool, about 4-6 hours or over night, check to ensure each jar is sealed by tapping the lid. A sealed jar will not move or bend.
Fuyu persimmons are tomato shaped and are ripe when they turn yellow-orange and give when lightly squeezed. Eat out of hand when the flesh is still firm and crispy. They can be diced into salads and won’t darken. When very ripe their pulp is soft and mushy.
By contrast, Hachiya persimmons are heart shaped and deep orange. They are only eaten when fully ripened and become squishy like a water balloon.
You can use fully ripe persimmons or allow the fruit to set on the counter to ripen. Persimmons that are a rich orange color and give with gentle pressure are ripe and yield more natural sweetness. If the flesh is firm, cut in small chunks and it will still cook into delicious jam provided you’re using Fuyu persimmons. To speed ripening, place in a brown paper bag with an apple or banana. Or, place persimmons in the freezer and once frozen solid defrost on the counter.
Persimmon season is October through January. Now is a great time to make some persimmon jam if you didn’t get enough jam made this summer during berry or stone fruit season.
Use a 6-8 quart pot because when the jam cooks it bubbles up and you want to have some air space so it doesn’t bubble over.
It’s nice to have a wide mouth funnel to help pour the hot jam into the canning jars. A lid magnet helps to remove the lids from the boiling water without burning your fingers.
Butter helps reduce foaming.
This is delicious on all the things you love with jam such as rolls, biscuits, scones, pancakes, waffles, French toast, banana bread, and peanut butter & jam sandwiches.
Fancy up a dessert with this lightly exotic flavor by spreading on crepes or spooning on ice cream. Thin with a little water and spread over yellow cake layers poked with a toothpick. Use as a plating syrup with desserts.
- Use 3 cups of persimmon pulp and omit mango.
- Exchange orange for lemon zest.
Inspiration – Helen Horton
Cook with Sauces
Persimmon Mango Jam.
Written by Helen Horton
Photography and Styling by Helen Horton
Updated: November 27, 2013