Forget going to the gourmet markets for exotic jams. You can make tasty persimmon jam at home. This sometimes astringent fruit is delicious when fully ripe and properly prepared.
Things You'll Need
1/2 bushel persimmons
8 cups sugar
4 packages fruit pectin
12 oz. frozen orange juice(thawed to room temperature)
Large stockpot with lid
Medium stockpot with lid
Food mill or strainer
12 pint canning jars with new lids and new rings
Prepare your fruit. Remove the calyx from each persimmon. The calyx is the brown leafy piece on top of the fruit. Slide a knife under the leaves of the calyx and cut in a circular motion around the stem. Discard the calyx.
Cut each persimmon into fours, remove the stems and then chop the fruit into small pieces. Dump the chopped persimmon into a medium stock pot. Add fruit pectin and just enough water to barely cover fruit. Add 12 ounces of frozen orange juice that has been thawed to room temperature. Stir well. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, stirring frequently.
When the fruit is soft and translucent, remove the pot from the heat. Force the fruit through a food mill or strainer, collecting all the juice. For jam, keep the fruit solids in the final mix. For jelly, pour the fruit mix into a cheesecloth and squeeze out the juice, leaving fruit solids in the bag.
Mix 4 cups of juice to 4 cups sugar and bring to a rolling boil. Boil 20 minutes or until the jelly drips off the spoon in sheets instead of drops, or until the jelly drizzled on a plate gels when put in the freezer for 5 minutes.
Prepare jars, lids and seals. Use a canning pan with a jar rack or line a large pan with a clean kitchen towel to keep the jars from clinking together. Stand the jars carefully in a pan, side-by-side. Fill the pan with water, completely covering jars. Bring to a rolling boil for 10 minutes. Remove the jars with tongs. Set the new rings and seals nearby.
Using a wide-mouth funnel, ladle the jam into the jam jars, leaving 1/2 inch of head space. Head space is the space between the jam and the lid of the jar. Put on a lid and ring, screwing the ring down tight and then unscrew the lid a half turn.
Place a kitchen towel in the bottom of the stockpot to keep jars from rattling against one another if you do not have a canning rack. Using tongs, place jam jars into large stock pot. Cover the jars with water and boil for 20 to 30 minutes.
Remove the jars from the water with tongs. Jar lids should pop and seal downward as the jars cool. Screw the lids on tight after they have cooled. Any jars which do not seal properly must be kept refrigerated until use.
Use 3/4 fresh fully ripened fruit to 1/4 unripened fruit for best results. Line water bath pans with a clean kitchen towel to prevent jars rattling together. Rattling can break or chip the jars, producing an incomplete seal. Use tongs or jar lifters to avoid burns.
Use only USDA approved rules for canning if you are a novice canner. Paraffin seals for jams and jellies are no longer recommended Do not eat or taste any product that is discolored or that bubbles, foams, or smells "off" in the jar. It may have clostridium botulism. Wash hands before and after handling jars.