This is a tasty (and easy!) way to use Fall persimmons. Use this spicy spread like jelly or apple butter — it’s especially good on toasted homemade whole wheat bread or scones.
20 ripe Fuyu persimmons, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 large lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup honey or brown sugar
4 sterilized half-pint canning jars, lids and rings
Place chopped persimmons into a crock pot.* Pour the lemon juice over the persimmons and stir to coat fruit. Set the crock pot on high, cover and and cook for about 2 hours.
Using a potato masher, mash the persimmon mixture in the crock pot. Mash the persimmons in the cooker with a potato masher. Stir in the cinnamon, cloves, and honey.
Turn the crock pot down to low and cook, uncovered, 8-9 hours or overnight, stirring mixture thoroughly several times.
When done, use an immersion blender to purée the persimmon mixture until smooth. (If you don’t have an immersion blender, place the persimmon mixture in a blender, filling the blender jar no more than half full. Start on low speed with a few pulses, then purée the mixture until smooth and silky. Purée in batches until all of persimmon mixture is done.)
Spoon the persimmon butter into sterilized jars, filling the jars to within 1/4 inch of the top. Run the blade of a knife or little spatula around the interior of the jar to remove any air pockets. Clean rims of jars, and top with lid and ring. Allow jars to cool, then refrigerate. Persimmon butter will keep for 3-4 weeks.
YIELD: Makes 4 1/2 pint jars.
* Persimmons can also be cooked on top of the stove in a large, heavy bottom dutch oven (like Le Cruset). Cook slowly, covered, on low heat, stirring every 15-20 minutes, until persimmons are softened and beginning to break down. After mashing the mixture, continue to cook on low heat for several more hours, stirring every 15-20 minutes, until mixture thickens and purée according to above directions.