Persimmon jam is an easy jam to make at home and captures the warm fresh flavor of persimmons for year-round eating. Persimmons contain pectin naturally, so this jam comes together easily with just three ingredients.
A while back I was invited to a birthday party for a friend of a friend. This person is my polar opposite, and would rather buy just about anything than make it homemade. What did I choose for a gift? My homemade persimmon jam.
I got a skeptical look, but with some urging, he opened up the jar and slathered it on a scone. He looked up, an expression of shock on his face, “This is really good! It’s really really good. You made this!?!?!” I call that one small victory for the home jam maker.
Persimmon jam isn’t one of those varieties that’s readily available at the store, and its unique flavor is bold enough to convince skeptics. Case and point.
Choosing Fruit for Persimmon Jam
Persimmons generally come in two types, Fuyu and Hachiya. Fuyu persimmons are the ones pictured in this recipe, and they have a firm texture and lobed UFO shape. They’re fully ripe when they have just a slight bit of give in the skin, like a pear. Hachiya persimmons, on the other hand, are acorn shaped and they’re not fully ripe until they reach a soft, pudding-like consistency inside the skin. Either way, underripe persimmons can be quite astringent, especially underripe Hachiya fruits.
While they say Fuyu persimmons can be harder to find, they’re the ones I generally see at the grocery store. In the late fall/early winter stores will often sell them by the case for as little as 50 cents each. Other times higher-end markets have them for as much as $3 each. I was lucky this season and found cases of them ripe and ready for jam at Costco for a steal, but even at $3 a piece they still make a pretty epic persimmon jam that’s worth every penny.
Adding Acidity to Persimmon Jam
Not all fruits are acidic enough to can without adding lemon juice, and persimmons are right on the borderline. Fruits must be below a pH of 4.6 to can in a water bath canner, and persimmons range between 4.4 and 4.7. Persimmon jam needs just a small amount of added lemon juice or citric acid for safe water bath canning. Personally, I think the flavor of lime juice compliments persimmons beautifully, and why add just acid when you can add both acid and flavor? Feel free of course to keep it simple and just add lemon juice (or citric acid).
If you’re using citric acid as an acid source, use one teaspoon of citric acid granules in place of each tablespoon of lemon juice (or lime juice) in a recipe. For every two pounds of fresh persimmon, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (or one teaspoon of citric acid). Lime juice is ever so slightly more acidic than lemon juice, but not enough to change the measurement. Use the same amount of lime juice as with lemon juice.
If you’re making a persimmon freezer jam, then there’s no need to worry about acidity. Adding a bit of acidity will improve the flavor of fridge and freezer jams, and I’d still recommend it, but it’s only strictly required if you’re canning persimmon jam.
Canning Persimmon Jam
Once you’ve added an acid to move lower the pH enough for canning, canning persimmon jam is pretty straightforward. Fill the jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.
I’ve been experimenting with canning in these Lock Eat canning jars, made in Italy by Luigi Bormioli. They’re safe for water bath canning, and there’s no “disposable” one-time use canning lid. The lid itself is glass, as is every part that touches the food. Thus far I’ve been very happy with them, and they’re beautiful.
Easy persimmon jam comes together quickly with just 3 ingredients. Can it in a water bath canner or store it in the refrigerator.
- 4 lbs persimmons
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 to 2 cups sugar adjust to your tastes
Slice persimmons into small chunks and remove stems and seeds.
Add persimmons and lemon juice to a small saucepan and cook on low for a few minutes until persimmons begin to release their juices. Use a potato masher to help speed the process along.
Add sugar and cook over medium-low heat until the jam thickens. Test for consistency on a plate in the freezer.
When the consistency is right, pour into prepared canning jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes, and then turn off heat and leave the jars in the canner for an additional 5 minutes. Remove jars to the counter and allow them to cool.
Check seals, and store any unsealed jars in the refrigerator for immediate use.
I prefer low sugar persimmon jam, and for this reason, I only use 1 cup of sugar to 4 pounds of fruit. For a standard sweet jam, feel free to add the full 2 cups, or anywhere in between. The recipe makes 2-3 half pint jars (8oz) of jam.