Pulp action

Rummaging around in the freezer this week reminded me of a couple of the treasures I had tucked away for a rainy day. And, rainy day that it is, it seemed exactly the right time.

It was weather just like this last autumn when I was looking after my friends’ fruit trees while they were away.

persimmon_PNG9191What was coming into ripeness then was persimmons, that gorgeous fruit (not the gelatinous variety, but the fuyu variety that is firm-ripe). It is delicious to eat and fabulous with cheese, but this was a whole, massive tree full. I had no idea what to do with them all. Last year, similarly placed, I slow-cooked a whole lot of spiced puree and bottled it. It was tasty, but again, there’s only so much of that you want.

This time I kept it simple. The most successful thing I did was to slice and then dry them. I discovered they are a spectacular dried fruit, my favourite of all. Pretty and addictive.

For the rest, I peeled the ones I didn’t eat (though I gather peeling is not necessary), removed the big seeds and threw them in the food processor. I poured the pulp into 1 litre sandwich bags (with just a touch of citric acid) and put them in the freezer. I also cored a few and froze them whole, which also seemed quite successful. I gave most of those bags of fruit back to the tree’s owner, but kept a few for myself.

This week I thawed the last bag out, since it really is time to use them up.

The ice-cream I made is a simple one – the fruit pulp, something sweet (a recipe I consulted suggested honey – I used less than they suggested but less would have been ok. It doesn’t need much at all), some flavours (I added some cinnamon and nutmeg, because I think persimmons go nicely with those warm spices, and because it’s Christmas), whipping cream. Mix it up and put it in the ice-cream churner. Everything was straight out of the fridge so I didn’t have to re-chill it before putting it in the mixer.  For the 1 litre of fruit, I used a small tub of heavy cream, and that was split between two goes in the ice cream maker, since it was too much for one.



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