Learn how to dry persimmons at home!
Persimmons, known as hoshigaki in Japan, are a less common fruit that is full of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are sweet and delicious, and they can be added to your winter diet. Persimmons have manganese, iron, vitamin C, and beta-carotene, as well as important phytonutrients that have all kinds of health benefits.
Here are the best methods for drying persimmons at home and storing dried persimmons for later use.
How to Dry Persimmons
People often choose to dry persimmons because if stored properly, they will last six to twelve months at room temperature. There are two basic methods for drying persimmons:
- you can slice them and place them in a dehydrator or oven,
- or you can dry them in the sun for three or four weeks.
The choice is yours.
How to prepare persimmons for drying
The first step to preparing your persimmons for drying is to thoroughly wash and dry the fruit. You should run it under cool running water and wipe away dirt and debris with your fingers. It is very important to make sure that they are clean since any dirt or other contaminants may dry into the fruit and have an effect on how it tastes after you dry it.
Drying persimmons in a dehydrator
- Once you finish drying the persimmons, you should place it on a cutting board and remove the cap. You can use a paring knife and insert it into the edge of the stem. Then, you can carve out the cap. You want to remove any white pith because it will be difficult to chew once you have dried your persimmons. Remember that persimmons will shrink when you dry the slices, so you shouldn’t cut away much of the usable fruit. You do not need to peel the persimmons, but you can cut away any skin that you find is discolored.
- Once you have removed the cap, you can slice the persimmon into slices that are between one half and one-quarter of an inch. You should cut it the same way you cut a tomato. Generally, you should be able to cut eight or ten slices out of each piece of fruit.
- Now your persimmons are ready to go in the dehydrator. You can place the slices right on the rack, and separate them from each other. You can turn the dehydrator on between 115 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit. You will need to allow the persimmons to dry for at least 20 hours without any interruption.
Once it has been 20 hours, check on the persimmons. You should notice that they have changed to a deep orange-red color with a wrinkled surface. It should be soft and gummy and melt in your mouth. If they aren’t ready yet, you can leave them for another hour or two, and take them out when they are just right.
Drying persimmons in the oven
If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can dry persimmons in the oven, but you might lose some of the flavor and texture.
- Remove the cap.
- Slice the persimmons.
- Preheat oven to 170 F.
- Place the persimmon slices side-by-side on a baking paper that is on a baking sheet
- Dry persimmons in the oven for 5-6 hours flipping persimmons a few times until they are dried out.
- You should leave the oven door slightly open for better air circulation.
You can speed up the process by turning your oven to 250 F and drying persimmons for 2 hours. Just make sure you check the persimmons after every half an hour. There is a danger that you bake your persimmons instead of drying.
There are different kinds of persimmons, and if you choose to hang them to dry in the sun, you will want the hachiya persimmons. You want fruit that is slightly under-ripe where they are firm.
- You need to prepare it differently because you will peel the persimmons and leave the stem. The stem is necessary for hanging your persimmons to dry. Use a carrot peeler to peel all of the skin. You can insert a screw hook in the core, and tie a piece of twine to the hook.
- Next, you will hang your persimmons in indirect sunlight in a well-lit spot in the house or on a screened patio. Ideally, you want your persimmons to get four or five hours of indirect sunlight each day. You can buy a clothing rack to hang your persimmons, or you can create a spot near a window.
- Next, you need to let the persimmons dry for four to six weeks. You can massage them every few days to help them release moisture and sugar as they dry. When they are ready, the outside will wrinkle, and they will shrink to about half their size.
Remove them from the twine, and let them sit on a baking sheet covered with a clean kitchen towel at night for another week. This allows the sugary coating to cover the fruit.
Storing Dried Persimmons
After you have finished drying persimmons – no matter in which way – let them cool down. You should only store the dried persimmons when they have completely cooled down.
Dried persimmons will keep for between six months and a year. You can store them at room temperature, and you can place them in resealable plastic bags after you wrap them in plastic wrap. You can also vacuum-seal them. If you want to, you can freeze them or keep them in the refrigerator for up to one year.
SEE ALSO: How to Store Dried Fruits at Home
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