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To Can or Not to Can. That Is the Question.

Have you ever seen a super hot deal on produce and think “I should can that”? Me, too.

I’m what many seasoned canners call a “newbie”: meaning that I am new to canning. And last fall I purchased a shopping bag of persimmons. Then I did what all newbies should: scouted for a tested recipe from a reputable source.

The search produced few results–persimmons are, it turns out, not a popular fruit to can. Not a single hit from my favorite resources: the National Center for Home Preservation website (I love the search function), Ball Canning website, or my other canning books. To add insult to injury, the conflicting information online gave me little hope that I could successfully water bath the fruit without a pH meter to determine how much acid was needed to remain safe.

Turns out (pardon me if this is already common knowledge), there are many varieties of persimmons with a variety of characteristics that make some of them unappealing to can, including astringency. Fortunately, I had picked a non-astringent variety.

In the end, I scrapped my processing aspirations for the safest option. One that my Master Canner pals would be proud of: refrigerated persimmon pickles and refrigerated persimmon butter.

To my newbie delight, the un-processing adventure was a success. Refrigerated foods in cans might not last all year in your cupboard but are just as tasty. The butter was introduced at a dinner party (within a thumbprint cookie) and the refrigerator pickles made a debut for Thanksgiving. I’ve taken on a new title that no longer reflects my length of experience but my passion for safe preservation.

As a founding member of our collective, I’m here to tell you that us newbies are doing more than a riding trend and blogging about it. We know our limits. And hopefully, we are helping to creating a forum for conversation about safe preservation.

Quick Persimmon Refrigerator Pickles

Modified from The Budding Gourmet

Ingredients
10 ripe Fuyu non-astringent persimmons (approximately 3lbs)
3 tsp white mustard seeds
2 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp salt
9 cloves garlic, cracked
3 red chili peppers
3 cups white distilled vinegar
¼ cup sugar

  1. Wash persimmons and dry. Remove stems and core. Slice into wedges.
  2. Grind spices into a course powder (I like to use a dedicated coffee grinder for all of my spice concoctions but you can also use a mortar and pestle)
  3. Place persimmons into 3 sterilized pint jars. Add three garlic cloves and one red chili pepper per jar. Pour 1/3 of the spice mixture in each jar.
  4. Combine vinegar, sugar, and salt in a pan and bring to boil, stirring until dissolved.
  5. Pour hot vinegar into jar and remove all bubbles.
  6. Cover with lids and bands and store in refrigerator for one week.

Makes 3 Pints

Persimmon Butter (refrigerated)

Modified from Saving the Season

Ingredients

10 ripe Fuyu non-astringent persimmons (approximately 3lbs)
2 cups of water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 ½ tsp pomegranate molasses
1 ½ tsp honey
1 tsp cinnamon (ground)
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup sugar
6 sprigs of thyme

  1. Wash persimmons and dry. Remove stems and core. Slice into ½” cubes.
  2. Place persimmons in pot with water and simmer 25-35 minutes until soft. Run through a food mill.
  3. Return puree to pot and add sugar, pomegranate molasses, honey, lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to boil and then lower heat to simmer. While constantly stirring, reduce to consistency of a soft apple butter. (Note: I use a heat diffuser like this one when making butters.)
  4. When reduced by half, add leaves from 6 small sprigs of thyme.
  5. Place persimmon butter into 3 sterilized ½ pint jars. Remove bubbles. Cool on countertop and refrigerate. Eat within one week or freeze in snap-seal container.

CAA Founding Member Shannon Kelly is the founder of In Your Head trends research, creative development, and marketing consultancy. Since joining the collective in 2009, she has gone from rookie to intermediate canner—putting up a pantry full of pickles and preserves with friends. In addition, she runs the CAA Facebook page.  Shannon tweets about the intersection of food, fashion and culture as @trendscaping and loves to can in stylish shoes.

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One Comment

  1. I learned something today. I did not know that this would be a problem either. I am new to canning as well and I have learned alot form the internet. I watch alot of youtube video and read step by step recipes. It is really alot of fun learning and trying new things. I wish I would have learned this sooner but…better late than never.