Way back in April we started drying persimmons to produce what we hoped would be the winter delicacy that is enjoyed in Japan.This week we have been eating the resulting produce and I’m happy to report that not only has the drying been successful, but the result is definitely worth it.I started out with some 70 persimmons. We lost some at the beginning to mould because the weather, at the time, was a lot warmer than expected. In the end TB suggested running the fan on low to help dry the fruit out. This worked very well. We more or less forgot them for a while, until it was time about a month and a half later when I started to massage the fruit. The idea is to redistribute the moist juices in the interior to encourage further drying. We ended up with a full bowl of the dried fruit. Definitely a bowl of small treasures to be savoured.
It was a bit difficult to decide when to start eating them as it wasn’t clear whether they should be fully dried or still somewhat soft. We’ve now tried the fully dried as well as some that are still soft and we definitely prefer the latter. The resulting persimmon is very much like a high quality date – both in texture and flavour. Our friends, neither or whom like the ‘fresh’ persimmon, found the dried version incredibly tasty. This could backfire on us as our persimmon supply comes from R’s mum’s tree. Next year we’ll probably have some competition for the fruit!As we tasted the fruit we discussed whether using a dehydrator would yield the same results. We concluded that there might be some difficulty in fitting the full-sized fruit onto the trays, but cutting up the fruit would not give the same result. Given you need to peel the fruit before you start to dry them they would also need to be started off at least on baking paper to avoid them sticking to the trays. Ah well an experiment for next year. So here are the before and after photos. Don’t worry the bloom on the dried fruit is the natural sugars that have come to the surface of the fruit not mould.