Three years ago, when we moved out to the farm, one of my mom’s first questions was “are there any persimmons out there?” My mom LOVES persimmons. I mean, like, for real really loves them. Truth be told, I didn’t think that we had many persimmons out at the farm. However since we’ve been out in the woods a lot recently, working on our new rotational grazing pasture, we’ve been finding multiple groves of them! This past weekend my mom and Aunt Linda came out to the farm to help me forage for some persimmons after the first frost of the year and we were able to gather about 5 lbs of wild, native persimmons! But now that we found them, there’s one question to ask: What should I make with all these persimmons? Persimmons are nature’s gummy fruit, my friend and the possibilities are nearly endless for this forgeable fruit.
If you’re looking to harvest persimmons, there’s a few things you need to know. First, they’re best after the first frost. That’s when the most of them will ripen and drop to the ground. Second, you better head out early in the morning because deer, raccoons, and whatever else loves persimmons just as much as you do. And lastly, the most ripe and delicious fruit is also super gummy, almost liquified. The firm ones will suck the moisture right out of your mouth and give you stank face. Not cute. So go for the most delicate, softest persimmons that you can find.
So now you’ve found your persimmons so what do you do with them? Over the next few weeks as I find my persimmons, I’ll be bringing you recipe options for how to cook/preserve them. If you have a lot of persimmons on hand right now, you can put them on a cookie tray and freeze them, they’ll be good for a few weeks in freezer camp.
Today, it’s all about the infusions. Here’s how you can make homemade persimmon infused vodka and persimmon infused vinegar. If you start making them now, they’ll be ready just in time for the holidays. Homemade food creations make great DIY gifts or if you’re hosting a party, they make a great talking point. And by talking point, I mean a great way to show off your foraging and crafty kitchen skills! DIY persimmon infused vodka will make an excellent martini or an addition to a homemade shrub. As far as the DIY persimmon vinegar, what can’t you do with it?! My dear friend, farmer Connie from Chopping Block Farm, turned me onto flavored vinegars a while ago and now I can’t stop devouring them. Sometimes I just grab a spoonful as a snack. Gross, I know. But delicious all the same. Persimmon vinegar would make an excellent winter salad dressing when mixed with some EVOO. Or use it as a marinade for poultry, lamb or whatever the hell you eat at home. So now that your mouth is watering, let’s get to making some delicious persimmon stuff!
Homemade Persimmon Infused Vodka
- 5-6 ripe persimmons, top cut off and fruit cut in half
- 16 ounces of decent vodka
- you could also add in a cinnamon stick, that would be nice. But I didn’t have any on hand at the time.
Take your persimmons with the tops cut off and fruits cut in half, drop them into some type of vessel. I just used your regular ol’ mason jar. Pour the vodka over the persimmons, completely covering them. Screw on a lid and let it sit at room temperature for 2-3 weeks. After 2 weeks or so, give it a taste test. If it’s persimmon-y enough for you, then strain out the persimmons so that all you’re left with is a beautiful blush color infused vodka. If after 2 weeks, the persimmon flavor isn’t strong enough for you, then let it sit for another week.
If your’e not a vodka fan, I’m sure you could do the same process with vermouth or white rum. If you’re not a big drinker, you can add a simple syrup to the infused vodka after you’ve strained it to make a more after dinner liqeourÂ type of thing. Or you can just take it to the dome, I won’t tell anyone.
Homemade Persimmon Infused Vinegar
The process is very similar to infusing vodka. But for this, you’ll need about 4 cups of white wine vinegar. You could probably try white balsamic too, that would be nice! And you’ll need about 2-3 cups of persimmons, again with the tops cut off and the fruit cut in half and slightly smashed.
Begin by heating the vinegar over the stove. Bring to a light simmer, not boiling. As you’re waiting for that magic to happen, put the persimmons into a mason jar or some other vessel. Once the vinegar has come to a simmer, take off the stove and pour over the persimmons. Give it a quick swirl to mix it all together. Let it come to room temperature, put a lid on it and stick it in the fridge.
Let it sit for 2-4 weeks, giving it a shake every day or so. Once it has infused to your liking, filter out the persimmons and keep in a pretty bottle for yourself or for a friend. This will keep about 6 months or so in the fridge.
And there you have it! Happy persimmon harvesting! Stay tuned for more persimmon recipes over the next few weeks. What will you be doing with your persimmons this year?