Persimmons are enchanting. They look like they belong in a Japanese fairy tale.
They're a winter fruit that's just coming into season this month. These Fuyu persimmons are firm, even when ripe, and don't have the bitterness associated with other types of persimmons. This is the variety you'll most likely see in stores. They taste a little bit like an apricot, with a hint of cinnamon.
You can eat these like an apple, but they're firm texture lends itself to things like salsas and chutneys. I'm going to stew them up with some mango into an authentic spicy Indian style chutney. This will serve you well throughout the season, you can use it alongside meats, on cheeseboards, or spread it on sandwiches. It would make a beautiful gift, too.
It's the same process as the simple jams I made throughout the summer...just chop and cook the fruit with some sugar and whatever spices you want. For a chutney you will need vinegar and lots of spices, both sweet and hot.
There are beautiful shades of yellows and oranges in this lot: the mangoes, the persimmons, and a fiery habanero pepper, Even after 30 minutes of cooking, some of the fruit still holds its shape, so the chutney has a nice mixed texture.
Spicy Mango Persimmon Chutney
1 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds
1 Tbsp coriander seeds
4 cardamom pods, cracked
- In a heavy bottomed pan, toast the mustard seeds, coriander seeds, and cardamom pods for just a minute or so, until fragrant.
1 large mango, peeled and chopped (approx 2 cups)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup water plus more if necessary
1 cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
1 inch knob of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced (or grated if you want a finer texture)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 habanero pepper, minced (or any other hot pepper)
- Add all the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 30 minutes until the mixture is thick. Stir it regularly. Add more water if the chutney gets too dry and sticks to the bottom of the pan. I simmered mine covered for part of the time, and depending on the juiciness of your fruit, you can adjust. You want it to cook for 30 minutes, and be thick at the end.
- Fish out the whole cloves, cardamom pods, and cinnamon stick.
- Ladle the chutney into two jars, let cool, then refrigerate. It will keep for at least a few weeks, probably longer.
This chutney is absolute heaven spooned on some soft blue cheese, or aged cheddar. It takes just half an hour to make, in fact you can chop and throw in your ingredients into the pan as it starts to cook. It's a fun and easy project---enjoy!
One year ago today---