Sunday, September 18, 2016

Pumpkin spiced wild persimmon syrup for cocktails, baking & dessert. Vegan, gluten-free, paleo optional and foraged.

We all know the old joke: "If you say Pumpkin Spice Latte" into a mirror
three times, a suburban girl in yoga pants will appear and tell you her three favorite things about fall.

Well, I don't wear yoga pants. But. . .it's not far off. I actually don't even DRINK coffee, except when it's a pumpkin spice latte during the fall.  I love that warm flavor of sugar, spice and everything nice. So I couldn't help but wonder what else I could use it with. Persimmons, another fall-only fruit, with a sweet/tart flavor, seemed like it would be the perfect pairing.

It came out really amazing. My husband took one taste and said, "It tastes like the holidays".

It's also really, really easy to mix up a batch, and can be used in cocktails, desserts, baking and more. The base recipe is vegan and gluten-free, and can be made with non-foraged (aka store-bought) persimmons, if you can't find wild ones by you. There's even a Paleo option!

The ripening of persimmons straight out confuses me, to be completely honest. There will be many on the tree that are still green, while others are bright orange, dead ripe, and so soft they're almost impossible to even touch without bruising. The calyx has turned dark brown or black, and sometimes pulls off when you touch it.

Persimmons like these are what's considered "ripe" but to me, they are actually a bit overripe. They're bursting with juice, but the flavor becomes rather one-note: they loose a lot of those tropical undertones that I love in the slightly firmer fruit.

Plus, when you pick these, you almost always break the skin, and they have to be used right away. And this syrup is great for that. Plus, that "one-note" persimmon flavor mixes perfectly with fall spices.

Pumpkin-Spiced Persimmon Syrup

Makes 1.5 cups

2 cups of dead-ripe wild persimmons
2.5 cups warm water
3 Tbs. brown sugar 
(use 2 tbs. raw honey for paleo)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 
(grate fresh vanilla for paleo)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
dash of allspice.

  1. Start by gently breaking up your persimmons. You want a pretty packed 2 cups of persimmons, so when you break them down you have about 1.5 cups of chopped fruit.
  2. Add your vanilla, spices and sugar. Stir thoroughly, and bring to a very, very slow simmer. 
  3. Using a muddler, wooden spoon or potato smasher, break up the fruit as it simmers. 
  4. Continue to slow simmer for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  5. Strain the syrup using a slotted spoon or skimmer. 
  6. OPTIONAL: do a secondary strain through a colander or strainer. I chose not to do this step. It will give you a true syrup, but will also remove the tasty tasty pulp.
This is very similar to a simple syrup, and can be used the same way in drinks, baked goods, or on top of desert. Bonus: a true simple syrup is equal parts water to sugar. Because of the natural sweetness in the fruit, you can use a LOT less sugar for this.

If you want to store it long-term, freeze in ice-cube trays, then store in a sealable plastic bag.

I did experiment with an incredibly tasty pumpkin spiced persimmon manhattan immediately after finishing the syrup. I plan on experimenting all week long, and making a drinks post next weekend. Just remember, guys, I'm doing this all for you :D

Marinating the syrup "leavings" in
blended whiskey, to be used later

Don't discard the strained fruit, seed, skin! Store it in a glass container and cover with bourbon or blended whiskey. You'll be making a delicious infusion which can be used for lots of different drinks.


No comments:

Post a Comment