Two weekends ago, we spent our Sunday morning at a Village Harvest volunteer event. This group harvests fruits from homeowners and small orchards who can not manage the task on their own and then donates the fruit to local food banks. It is a great organization, and you get a great workout in the process! We participated in a persimmon pick up in the hills of Los Gatos – the homeowner had a mini orchard of persimmon trees right in their backyard. As part of the harvest, you are allowed to take the discards from the sorted fruit to take home – most of these fruits had fallen to the ground or had a bruise – basically, not be appropriate to send to the food bank. For making jam, however, they were perfect!
I had picked up fresh organic cranberries from Whole Foods a few weeks ago for no particular reason other than they just looked beautiful. Once I came home from the persimmon pick, I knew exactly what I was going to make – a homemade jam. I made this jam with grapefruit juice because I love the tartness of the cranberries, and I didn’t want to lose that to the sweetness of the persimmons. However, orange juice would work just as well, and would make the jam less tart.
- 1 grapefruit, juice squeezed
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 18 oz fresh cranberries
- 6 ripe persimmons, peeled and cut into chunks
To make the jam:
- Squeeze the juice from the grapefruit (I used a wooden reamer) into a medium sized pan.
- Add the water and sugar to the pan, and set it to simmer until the sugar is dissolved – this is an important step to ensure the pectin in the cranberries is activated to create the jam.
- Add the cranberries and persimmons to the mix – simmer until the cranberries have popped open and the persimmons have cooked up well.
- Run the mix through the finest mesh in your food mill.
- Pour the mixture into a glass jar – I made enough to use over the holidays in various things, so I didn’t choose to can the jam – this should keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 weeks.
I had the jam on an English muffin for breakfast yesterday – it was absolutely delicious paired with a cup of earl grey tea.