Yesterday I bought about 6 pounds of persimmons from the local green grocer. The fruit was grown locally and there was only a small amount at the shop. About 6 pounds, actually. With this little fruit, small batches were a guarantee. These persimmons are small and velvety soft with a subtle, sweet, astringent pulp. And yes, I am aware that I used the word “small” three times in one small paragraph. Whoops. Make that four times!
Originally, my plan was to make persimmon butter. I may still do this. But my planned for cooking fruit butter quickly morphed into Persimmon Conserve (notice the capitalization of the product… I’m running a business over here!), lightly sweetened and accented with lemon zest.
The cooking process was slow and unique. I added baking soda to the mix, which is alkaline and neutralizes the acid. The baking soda also does some magic on the color, transforming the jam from pumpkin colored to a deep reddish purple.
Persimmon Conserve makes the perfect autumnal spread for your favorite morning toast. Here it is pictured on some freshly baked spelt bread. Notice the warming autumn hues. The astringent taste of Persimmon Conserve pairs well with a mild cheese, such as mozzarella, making it a must have for all those bring-your-own-jam mozzarella bars opening these days.