Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dried Persimmons

The Hachiya persimmons are very good to eat, or to use in cookies, but only when they are very ripe. When they are not ripe, the astringency can be overpowering. For the last couple years I have been drying the Hachiyas. Drying them takes away all the astringency and brings out all the sugar in the flavor.

I start with persimmons that people give me or that I get at the local farmers market.

I purchased a 4-tier electric dehydrator that holds about 5 to 8 sliced persimmons, depending on their size. I found my dehydrator at a thrift store for $10 and bought it because it looked like it had never been used.

Wash your persimmons and slice them (skin and all) into about ¼ inch rounds. Thinner is fine if you like, but thicker may not better.

I place the slices on each tier, filling all available space with whole, half and quarter slices of persimmon.

Hint: One thing I like to do is after about 4 hours of drying, I take 5 minutes and turn each slice over. This seems to prevent the slices from sticking to my dryer.

Dry for a total of 10 to 15 hours, depending on the temperature and thickness of your slices.

At right is a picture of the finished, dried Hachiya persimmons.

I give them away in decorative jars. Or, they sure do make a nice plateful in the middle of a holiday party. I store them in ziplock bags and take them to work to share.

People will be amazed at the sweet, persimmony flavor, and you will too.

Jerry Grinstead