We've had a very warm autumn and by the time I handed over the persimmons to my parents last Thursday, they were so soft that you'd dent them with a gentle poke. I apologized and also sheepishly handed over some firm persimmons I'd bought from a local farm.
My mom took one look in the boxes of soft persimmons and confidently said, "I'll take care of these." I knew what she'd do with them: make fruit rolls.
Over the weekend, my dad checked in with VWK (he and my mom are avid readers of this blog!). Dad read Amy's comment. She asked how my parents dry persimmons.
Ironically over the weekend, our friend John gifted us a box of hoshigaki Japanese dried persimmons. He purchased them from a farm in California. The farm goes through a special, lengthy process to dry the whole fruit, which explains the $35 a pound price tag. John also reads this blog and asked me how my parents dried persimmons.
Because your minds inquired, my dad sent information and instructions for drying persimmons. What my father wrote:
Here's the way Me (mom) does it:
Dehydrator used: American Harvest brand [my mom also uses these to dry vegetables destined to be pickled]
For persimmons that still have a hard skin: use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin. Then cut the flesh into 3/8 to 1/2-inch thick slices. Put the persimmon on the dehydrator trays and turn on the maximum power for about 8 hours. (Check with the machine instructions to gauge the timing.) Once completely dried, put the dried pieces into plastic storage containers. They can be kept in the freezer for very long time. Use as dessert or for Tet (Lunar New Year).
For very ripe, soft fruit (like the ones you brought this year on Thanksgiving): Me scooped out the soft flesh from the skin, then she pureed it in the food processor. She transferred and spread the puree out onto the dehydrator trays. Then she dehydrated the sheets until dry. She peeled them off and cut them into triangular pieces, and rolled them up. She put them in plastic storage containers and froze them.
There you have it. My parents approaching drying persimmons with ease and simplicity. Some years, I bring them oodles of fruit so they've really streamlined things.
Dried fruit as well as candied sweetmeats are prized at Lunar New Year. They’re a terrific way to savor the intensity and purity of the bounty of past harvests. They’re also terrific nibbles with tea. I hope we get a tiny sample of what my mom made at Christmas.
Related posts about my parents:
- My mom's kitchen quirks (in case you wonder why there's plastic on her kitchen counter)
- My father's other holy trinity (3 things my dad values more than the Catholic church)
- Race for Persimmons: Me vs the Chinese Ritz Cracker Lady (just poking fun at myself)