Persimmon Butter – Home Canning

Persimmon butter is a delicious condiment, especially when spread onto toast, bagels, or English muffins. This is an easy home canning recipe.
Fresh persimmon, for making persimmon butter

Persimmons are a stunning fruit visually and viscerally. Mildly tart, their flavor is reminiscent of sweet papaya, but with a firmer texture. They are the perfect flavor and consistency for making persimmon butter!

Enjoy persimmon butter on your morning muffin, crumpets, toast, or my new personal favorite, French crepes.

Persimmons (UK /pəˈsɪmən/ or US /pərˈsɪmən/) are the edible fruit of a number of species of trees in the genus Diospyros. Diospyros is in the family Ebenaceae. The most widely cultivated species is the Asian persimmon, Diospyros kaki. In color the ripe fruit of the cultivated strains range from light yellow-orange to dark red-orange depending on the species and variety. They similarly vary in size from 1.5 to 9 cm (0.5 to 4 in) in diameter, and in shape the varieties may be spherical, acorn-, or pumpkin-shaped.[1] The calyx generally remains attached to the fruit after harvesting, but becomes easy to remove once the fruit is ripe. The ripe fruit has a high glucose content. The protein content is low, but it has a balanced protein profile. Persimmon fruits have been put to various medicinal and chemical uses.

Like the tomato, persimmons are not popularly considered to be berries, but in terms of botanical morphology the fruit is in fact a berry. SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

I like to serve the persimmon butter warm, over French crepes or pancakes. I hope you will enjoy it, too.

Crepe w persimmon butter

French Crepes with Persimmon Butter

Persimmon Butter
Yields 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 20 peeled and cubed persimmons, about 6 cups chopped fruit
  2. 1/2 cup bottled lemon juice
  3. 1 cup water
  4. Sugar to taste, optional
  5. 1 Cinnamon stick, optional
Instructions
  1. Peel, hull and cube persimmons
  2. In a large heavy bottom stock pot, combine fruit and 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  3. Cook over medium heat allowing fruit to soften and release juices, about 30 minutes
  4. Add remaining lemon juice and taste for sweetness, add sugar to taste if necessary
  5. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes stirring constantly to keep the bottom of the pan from burning
  6. Remove from heat
  7. With a potato masher or using an immersion blender, blend until consistency is smooth like Butter, it should resemble thick applesauce.
  8. Pur hot butter into sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace,
  9. Remove air bubbles by running a thin knife around the side of the jar, wipe rims with a damp clean towel to remove any food residue, top with clean lids and screw on rims
  10. Transfer to large water bath with enough water to cover jars, bring water to a boil, begin processing time at the boil, and process for 15 minutes
Notes
  1. Cinnamon and sugar can be added to flavor the butter however, persimmons have such a sweet and delicate flavor, I usually don't add them.
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
Sliced Persimmons 

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  1. Hi Rebecka, I recently canned delicious organic tomatoes from our garden and even though the recipe called for bottled lemon juice I added fresh lemon juice. Do you know if the Ph in fresh lemon is sufficient to inhibit the botulism?

    • Hi Lisa,
      The National Center for Home Food Preservation states that a tested recipe that is safe for consumption requires the addition of bottled lemon juice. The reason bottle lemon juice is used in “tested and safe” recipes is that the level of acidity can be measured during manufacturing. Tomatoes are lower in PH so it’s vital you use bottled lemon juice when canning them even if using a pressure method as opposed to water bath. The same goes for permissions. Fresh lemon juice can vary in acidity so unless you have the tools to test PH levels at home you run the risk of not having enough acid to kill botulism spores. I use fresh lemon juice when canning to add flavor but I always add the required amount of bottle lemon juice for safety.
      Here is the guide for canning tomatoes found on the NCFHP site.
      Selecting, Preparing and Canning Tomatoes
      Introduction
      Quality: Select only disease-free, preferably vine-ripened, firm fruit for canning.

      Caution: Do not can tomatoes from dead or frost-killed vines. Green tomatoes are more acidic than ripened fruit and can be canned safely with any of the following recommendations.

      Acidification: To ensure safe acidity in whole, crushed, or juiced tomatoes, add two tablespoons of bottled lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid per quart of tomatoes. For pints, use one tablespoon bottled lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon citric acid. Acid can be added directly to the jars before filling with product. Add sugar to offset acid taste, if desired. Four tablespoons of a 5 percent acidity vinegar per quart may be used instead of lemon juice or citric acid. However, vinegar may cause undesirable flavor changes.

      If a procedure from the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning for canning tomatoes offers both boiling water and pressure canning options, all steps in the preparation (“Procedure”) are still required even if the pressure processing option is chosen. This includes acidification. The boiling water and pressure alternatives are equal processes with different time/temperature combinations calculated for these products. The pressure processing options in these products were not developed for tomatoes without added acid.

      Related Page: Acidifying Tomatoes When Canning
      This document was adapted from the “Complete Guide to Home Canning,” Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA, revised 2009.Reviewed July 2015.

      If you have any further question feel free to contact me. Happy canning

  2. Hello Rebecka,
    I’m excited to use your persimmon butter recipe. I am surprised that you are doing a water bath canning since some say that persimmons are too low acid to water bath. If you can assure me that it is safe, I will certainly use your method, and be really happy about it!

    • Hi Pam, Thank you for asking if canning persimmons is safe and if my recipe is tested.

      Let me start by saying that I am not a food scientist or professionally employed canning expert. I do however, adhere to the USDA guidelines when sharing recipes for canning at home. I do my very best to share recipes that are tested and safe for consumption and to honor the ethical practice of informing my readers if a recipe is USDA Tested or home grown variety. I’m sorry I didn’t specify the “Tested” status of my Persimmon Butter for waterbacth canning. I have added additional “bottle lemon juice” to the recipe to elevate the pH to a safe level for waterbacth canning method. I have feed my family home cooked canned goods for years and no one has ever gotten sick however, when you’re canning at home, you assume the risk even if the recipe is “tested”.

      The sad news is that, when canning at home there’s no way of knowing if a person(s) will adhere to all the rules and safety guidelines the USDA require to produce a 100 percent safe product especially, without the use of an industrial kitchen. Due to the nature of unforeseen issues in home such as, cleanliness and recipe prepration, there’s just no way to make a blanket guarantee. Not to mention, you can still grow botulism in a “tested”recipe do to a bad seal or other malfunctions with the jar, lids and rims. If you have a moment please take a look at my disclaimer posted on my site concerning the issue.

      With that said…

      Let me share some information that might aid you in making a decision as to the safety of canning persimmons! You can then make a more educated decision before making the recipe.

      The USDA web site lists persimmons at 4.25-4.7. They are borderline acidic which means you must use a preservative that is acidic enough to kill off micro-organisims, like botulism.

      Here’s a quote from one of my favorite canning resources Food In Jars that will explain the process better than I can.

      “If you’ve been canning for any length of time, you’ve probably heard mention of acid levels in relation to safe boiling water bath canning. Anything that is preserved in a boiling water bath must have a high acid content. The reason that high acid levels are important is that the presence of acid inhibits the germination of botulism spores into the botulism toxin. Botulism spores can only develop into the botulism toxin in low acid, oxygen-free environments.

      When you preserve something in a boiling water bath canner, you heat the jars and their contents to the boiling point (that temperature varies depending on your elevation, but at sea level the boiling point is 212 degrees F). That heat is enough to kill off the micro-organisms that can cause spoilage, mold, or fermentation, but it’s not enough to kill botulism spores (they require far higher temperatures). The process of boiling the jars also helps to drive the oxygen out of the jars, creating a vacuum seal. For jars that have sufficient acid content, the result is a jar of food that is safely preserved and shelf stable.

      The way food scientists (and home canners) determine whether something is high or low in acid is by pH. If something has a pH of 4.6 or below, it is deemed high in acid and is safe for boiling water bath canning. If the pH is 4.7 or above, it is considered low in acid. We’ll talk more about how to preserve those foods that are low in acid and have a pH of 4.7 or above another day, but to give you just a hint, that’s often where a pressure canner comes in.

      If a food is close to the 4.6 pH point, you can often add enough acid to bring that product into the necessary safe zone. Fruits like tomatoes, figs, asian pears, melons, persimmons, papaya, white peaches and white nectarines, and bananas are often just a bit too low in acid in their natural state for safe canning. So in order to lower the pH to a safe level, we add either bottled lemon or lime juice, or powdered citric acid to products featuring those ingredients. Once the acid levels are high enough to inhibit the botulism spore’s ability to germinate into a deadly toxin, that product is safe for boiling water bath canning.” Source: FoodInJars.com

      Sorry for writing a novel to answer your question. I hope I’ve given you enough information to feel safe making my recipe for Persimmon Butter. You can add more bottled lemon juice if you have worries the pH is not high enough. Always consider more research if you feel my recipe calculations are not safe. Thank you for reaching out to me. Feel free to contact me anytime.