My morning almond butter toast has seriously been upgraded with the addition of this delicious persimmon jam recipe from my time out at Park Winters. Besides making smudge sticks, we cooked and jammed! (Is “jammed” a term by the way? Or did I make that one up?) I had never made jam before so I was excited to learn how from the Park Winter’s head chef. Turns out it’s quite simple… hardest part was getting that persimmon peeling down. Persimmons are one of my favorite fall fruits. As soon as I spy them in the grocery store I get beyond giddy. My Nana actually always dries them and gives me a large batch which I can go through in one sitting if I let myself.
In my dream life I make jam and give it away to friends’ as gifts. In my real life, I made jam on this particular day and I’m savoring every bite of my jar until it’s gone because I know realistically this just isn’t going to be a regular occurrence for me. Life with a one year old! But the good news is that Park Winters has started selling their homemade jams and honey. If you’re a fig fan you will love their fig jam.
PERSIMMON JAM WITH BOURBON REDUCTION
Yield: 12 – 8oz jars
– 10lbs ripe Fuyu persimmons
– 4 cups sugar
– 2 vanilla bean pods
– 6 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
– Zest of 1 lemon
– 1.5 cups bourbon
1. Wash and peel persimmons. Cut flesh into approximately 1” chunks.
2. Place persimmon pieces into blender and purée. Do this in batches if necessary.
2. Combine persimmon purée and sugar in a large pot. Cook on low heat, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes.
3. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean pods. Add the seeds to the mixture, along with the lemon juice and zest. Stir until well combined. Continue to cook mixture on low heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
4. Place bourbon in small saucepan, cook down until it’s reduced in half. Add to persimmon mixture.
5. Cook jam for another 2 hours on low heat, stirring occasionally.
6. Test the jam by dropping a small amount on a cold plate. If it doesn’t run, it’s ready.
7. Let jam cool for about 30 minutes.
8. Ladle into sterilized jars and seal.
Picking the persimmons (or any fruit) at their ripened peak is the key to really naturally sweet and delicious jam.
Photography | Melissa Gayle