How to Dry a Persimmon Properly: 7 Ways
Persimmons are an exotic and capricious fruit. This is one of the few products that are not on the shelves in stores all year round. Ripe fruit spoils quickly, in fresh form they can be stored only a few days. But the way to preserve persimmons for a long time has long been known - drying. This allows you to enjoy a pleasant taste and get a supply of vitamins all year round. In the traditions of the East and the Caucasus, dried persimmon is a universal snack and an effective remedy for almost all diseases. To be convinced of its miraculous properties is not difficult at all.
- How to choose a persimmon for drying
- How to prepare the fruit for drying
- How to dry persimmons at home
- In the oven
- In an electric dryer
- In a microwave oven
- In the sun
- Japanese way
- Armenian way
- Abkhazian way
- How to find out if the product is ready
- How to store dried persimmons correctly
- What are the benefits of dried persimmon
How to choose a persimmon for drying
The quality of the final product depends on the right fruit. If for jam or marmalade often choose damaged fruits in order to use them most productively, for drying requires the best quality berries. Therefore, for harvesting persimmons carefully examined and evaluated according to two criteria:
- Condition of the stalk.
Overripe fruits for drying are not suitable. They are very juicy, with cracked or very thin skin, soft. Ripe persimmons are dense, but astringent in taste. In dried form it will not taste good. Ideally suited moderately ripe berries bright orange in color, with intact dense skin, without spots, cracks and other defects.
The persimmon skin is very soft, but underneath there is incredibly juicy and sweet pulp. Therefore, at the slightest crack on the surface of the fruit on it instantly forms a hotbed of mold. Completely get rid of the spores of the fungus, simply by washing the fruit, is impossible. During drying, mold will begin to develop and spoil the harvest. Therefore, berries with even minor damage are categorically not suitable for harvesting as dried fruit.
The stalk should be dry, but not brittle and well held on the berry. The tail may not be completely dried, but if it is completely green - then the fruit is unripe and not suitable for picking. Persimmons without stalks are not suitable for whole-fruit drying, and the traditional way. But if you plan to dry slices or slices, you can also use such a fruit.
It is not recommended to dry fruits that have been subjected to long transport and storage in refrigerators. Therefore, it is better to make preparations not far from the places where persimmons grow.
Small fruits for drying are not suitable. In the process of cooking they greatly decrease in size, so it is better to give preference to large specimens.
The quality of dried fruit is also affected by the variety. Market traders usually name the most popular varieties of persimmon to buyers, in order to sell the goods faster and more profitable. Therefore, it is useful to learn to identify the varieties best suited for drying:
- Korolek - ripens earlier than other persimmon varieties. Very sweet, moderately juicy, the fruit is smaller than in other varieties. May contain many small pips, which is why most people choose other varieties of this fruit.
- Sharon is a cross between an apple and a persimmon. It ripens later than other varieties. Its berries are rounded, always seedless, light yellow-orange in color, and have a firm skin. They become sweeter if left in a warm, cold place for a few days.
- Ukrainka is a bright orange heart-shaped fruit with a sharp tip at the bottom edge. It has few or no seeds, so this is the persimmon most often used for preserves.
- Bull's heart - very large berries up to 0.5 kg in weight, with juicy flesh, seedless. Shaped like a heart, tapering toward the end. This persimmon is incredibly fragrant and has a marvelous taste. But because of its large size, it is quite difficult to dry it whole, it requires excellent weather for 2-3 months. When harvested thermally, unfortunately, it loses its unique flavor.
You can also get dried fruit from the persimmon variety Shokoladnitsa, but it ripens very late, when the conditions for harvesting in natural conditions are usually no longer available. Such fruit is usually dried in an oven or electric dryer.
Not suitable for harvesting in dried form varieties, whose fruits are characterized by poor transportability. They are easily damaged and spoil quickly, so they are suitable for eating fresh or making jam. Such varieties include Gosho Gaki, Weber, Sidles, Mandarin and some others. Also poorly suited for drying flat-shaped fruits are fig and Chinese persimmon.
In the form of dried fruit, it is more pleasant to use fruits, in which there are no pips at all or there are few of them. But this does not always depend on the variety, and sometimes is associated with the peculiarities of tree pollination. This factor can be taken into account only if one has seen the whole process of fruit development. An exception is the hybrid variety Sharon, which has no seeds.
An interesting feature of persimmons is that insect larvae never live in their fresh fruits. Simply put, these fruits are not wormy. Therefore, they quite easily can be dried as a whole.
How to prepare the fruit for drying
Preparation depends on the way in which the fruit will be dried.
- For harvesting in the sun, it is strictly forbidden to wash the fruit. If you break this rule, the moisture will get under the stalk and the fruit will rot. It is carefully inspected, gently wiped with a cloth or damp cloth to remove dust and particles of soil. If persimmons have been stored in a cool room and are covered with condensation droplets, you need to keep them at room temperature to allow the water droplets to evaporate.
- Before drying with electric appliances, persimmons are carefully washed and spread out on textile or paper towels until completely dry. It is not recommended to rub the fruits, because they are easily damaged and then they will be unsuitable for making dried fruit.
- It is not necessary to peel the skin beforehand, because in different variants of drying this may not be required or is done at different stages of cooking.
- Some hostesses cut off the petals of the stalk of the fruit, leaving only the dry tail. This provides better air circulation and speeds up the process a little.
How to dry persimmons at home
The persimmon is a very juicy fruit, so drying is a long process. It should not be left unsupervised and unmonitored. Depending on how the dried fruit is prepared, it will take anywhere from a few hours to 2 months.
According to the method of cooking, drying options can be divided into two groups - natural (in the sun) or with the use of household appliances (electric devices). In the first case, the process is very long, but all the vitamins and useful properties of the product are preserved. In the second case, the result will be obtained in a few hours, but you will have to sacrifice the taste.
In the form of preparation there are also two options - whole fruit or sliced. You can cut the flesh of the fruit into cubes and make candied fruits. In order that the product does not crumple during cutting, you need a very sharp knife with a wide blade.
Sun-drying involves handling only whole fruits. Chunks and slices of persimmon under the hot rays will wrinkle, become tough and lose their delicate texture. Whereas dried whole fruit inside resembles marmalade in consistency.
Awnings, terraces, balconies, and wide windowsills are suitable for drying naturally in the sunlight. Because of the long cooking time, the place where the sweet, fragrant fruits are located can become known to squirrels and birds. It is necessary to take measures to prevent the preparation from becoming their prey.
There are never larvae in fresh fruit. But dried persimmons are very attractive for insects looking for a secluded place to lay eggs from which larvae will hatch. Therefore, during drying, the fruits must be covered with gauze, provide ventilation of the room and regularly inspected, removing infested larvae in a timely manner.
Do not dry persimmons mixed with other fruits. Time of cooking dried fruits of different kinds of gifts of nature is different. All mixtures are prepared after each product dried separately. In the case of persimmon it is better and stored separately.
In the oven
To obtain a high quality product is not recommended to use the oven gas stoves because of temperature fluctuations in them. An electric oven is well suited for cooking dried fruit. Depending on the purpose of further use and individual preferences, you can use one of two options for drying persimmons in the oven:
Method 1: Remove the stalks, cut the fruit crosswise into 3-5 mm thick circles, remove all pips and place in a large bowl. To prevent burning, pour lemon juice over persimmons and mix gently. Spread the fruit on a baking tray lined with parchment or baking paper. Dry in an oven at 60 degrees for 6-7 hours. To speed up the process, you should use the convection mode or leave the door of the oven ajar.
Method 2: The fruit is dipped piece by piece in boiling water for 10 seconds, holding by the tails. After this, they can easily remove the skin. Whole fruit stacked on a lined tray and put in an oven heated to 60 degrees. With this method, the presence of a convection mode is mandatory. Drying takes 6-8 hours, the duration depends on the size of fruits. During cooking, the fruits are inverted.
This method of processing refers to extremely fast, because the natural way persimmons dry for 6-8 weeks, not a few hours. The product obtained with the help of an oven is inferior in taste and nutritional qualities to other methods. But in poor climatic conditions, there may be no other options for harvesting persimmons.
In an electric dryer
Electric dryer - a device specially invented for cooking dried fruit, so it provides a guaranteed result. Persimmons can be cooked this way only in pieces. A whole fruit in an electric dryer will not work. But you can vary the form of cutting: slices, slices, cubes or circles.
- Persimmons are cut into flat thin slices, remove the seeds, get rid of the stalks and spread out in a single layer on the grid of an electric dryer. For cooking, set the temperature mode to 60 degrees or "fruit".
- To dry evenly, every 1.5-2 hours the trays are reversed and the slices are inverted.
- Slices up to 5 mm thick will dry in 6-8 hours. If you want to cook larger slices (e.g. candied fruit cubes), this may take up to 20 hours.
- To speed up the process before cooking whole fruits blanch in a boiling solution at the rate of 1 teaspoon of baking soda per 5 liters of water.
- If you cut persimmons into very thin slices (2-3 mm thick) and cook them for the first 5 minutes at a high temperature (150-170 degrees), and then another 2 hours to stand at 60 degrees, you get delicious fruit potato chips.
In the microwave
For drying in the microwave, persimmons are separated from the stalks, cut into thin circles, remove the pips. Lay the fruit slices in a single layer on a dish or special lattice tray.
Set the heat to minimum (or select defrosting mode) and cook the product for 15-20 minutes. After that, open the microwave door and allow 7-10 minutes for the moisture to evaporate. After that, repeat the heating cycle and continue manipulation until fully cooked.
The use of microwave oven for cooking dried fruit is assessed ambiguously. On the one hand, it is a very fast way of preparation. On the other hand, there are assumptions about the destruction of many useful substances after processing the product in the microwave.
In the sun
This is a very simple method, invented many generations ago. The fruits are peeled from the skin and spread out on a large tray or plywood tray with high sides. It is important that the berries do not touch each other. Persimmons are taken out in the sun, covered with gauze and left for a day. At night and if the weather gets worse, the berries are taken into a warm, dry room.
Several times a day the fruits are turned over, so that they dried evenly and do not get moldy. The cooking process takes about 2 months. In the middle of this period we get an intermediate product - dried persimmons. This is also very tasty and useful treat, but its shelf life is much shorter than that of dried fruit - only 3-4 weeks.
Drying naturally under sunlight - the most reliable way to preserve all the useful properties of persimmons. But because of the long cooking time (up to 10 weeks), this option is suitable only for regions with consistently hot summers or short-term rains.
The Japanese way
The peeled fruits are tied by the stalks to a cord so that a distance of 10-15 cm is left between the berries. You can also thread them with a needle, piercing the tails. But you should take into account that the berries are quite heavy, so the thread should be very strong. Wire is also good as a base.
Before hanging the garland to dry, persimmons are gently dipped one by one in boiling water for 3-5 seconds. After this treatment, the outer layer of pulp will darken. During drying it forms a soft crust.
Hang the fruit garland in a dry, warm, well-ventilated room. Every 3-5 days, the berries are gently kneaded with your hands. This method of preparation is relatively fast - persimmons are ready in about 4-5 weeks.
With this method of preparation are not obtained dried fruit in the usual sense, and the product of long-term storage. The berries acquire a jelly-like consistency inside. In Japan, this is called Hoshigaki.
The Armenian method
This variant is similar to the previous one. Persimmons are prepared in the same way - peeled from the skin and fastened on a string.
- Prepare syrup at the rate of 50 grams of sugar per 1 liter of water and bring it to a boil. Dip each berry in it for 3-5 seconds. Since berries become sticky after such treatment, try to make garlands small, of 5-8 fruits.
- One end of the rope is fastened to a support, and the other end is left to hang down freely. Fruits should not touch each other, walls and other surfaces.
- Dry persimmons at room temperature in the shade. Since the sweet surface is very attractive to insects, in the first week it is necessary to constantly inspect the berries and remove those in which larvae have appeared. If flies and moths are plentiful, you can hang sticky tapes in the drying room.
- After 7 days, when the surface of the fruits is slightly dry, they are covered with gauze. The product is ready in 4-6 weeks.
This is the only recipe for drying unripe persimmons. Choose hard orange-colored fruits. They are hung, tied by the stalks, on a rope or wire, under a shed. In this way of preparation, it is not so much the temperature regime that is important, but the constant movement of air currents.
During the drying period, persimmons are covered with gauze and left for 1.5-2 months. In the warm climate of Abkhazia this method has worked perfectly for centuries.
How to Determine Readiness
During the drying process whole persimmon fruits shrink in size by 2-4 times and become dense. An indicator of readiness of persimmons cooked in the Abkhazian way - the appearance on the surface of berries whitish, flour-like coating.
Slices of ready dried fruit are elastic, but not brittle. Pressing on them should not release juice. The surface to the touch is not sticky.
How to store dried persimmons
Fruits dried on a rope can be left in this position, covered with gauze. As necessary, untie or cut off the desired amount of dried fruit. It is important that the room in which this product is kept is well ventilated.
If this option is inconvenient, persimmons are removed from the rope and packaged fruit in containers. Some housewives cut off the stalks of the finished product to extend its shelf life. The place of cutting lightly covered with flour.
Cooked thermal product (in the oven, electric dryer or microwave oven) before packing cool completely.
Dried fruits are easy to store in paper bags - they are hygroscopic, do not let light in, take up little space. Bags made of natural fabric are also suitable. Linen and chintz fabrics are ideal. Paper and cloth bags should be well covered.
Place dried persimmons in glass jars. They are sterilized and lined with baking paper or parchment. Filled jars are carefully sealed to avoid moisture.
Well suited for storing dried persimmons in wooden boxes or boxes with low sides. Preparations are placed in them in a single layer and covered with gauze. The containers are placed one on top of the other to save space. Cardboard boxes, plastic containers and ceramic containers with a lid are suitable as containers. When packed in them, the dried fruit is wrapped in scraps of clean cloth or paper.
Keep dried persimmons in plastic bags can not. In such a container the fruit will quickly go mouldy, and you can not eat them.
The main enemy of dried fruit is moisture. To prevent its condensation in the package, you can pour over persimmons with a small amount of ordinary flour, lining the bottom and walls of the container with cloth or paper.
As storage on persimmons will appear white sugar coating, which is often mistaken for mold, refusing to eat such a product. Mold on dried fruit is not white, but green. In addition, spoiled fruits have a characteristic putrid smell. Fragrant candied fruits do not cause unpleasant feelings. If you're worried about a whitish plaque, you can scrape it off with a knife before you eat it.
Packaged dried fruit is stored in a dry, dark place and make sure that there are no strong smelling products.
You can put persimmons in an enamel pan, but use a towel or a rag instead of a lid. In this form it is stored in the refrigerator. With this method, a white stain on the dried fruit will never form.
Stocks are periodically reviewed. If you find damaged or rotten fruit, they are immediately removed, otherwise the whole stock will go bad. All fruits are removed from the container, washed, dried and re-sterilized, lined the bottom and walls with new sheets of paper or pieces of cloth.
The period of storage is based on the approach of a new harvest. If the market began to appear persimmon early varieties - then it is time to finish last year's preserves.
What are the benefits of dried persimmons
Properly cooked dried fruit retains all the properties of the fresh fruit. Enjoy the wonderful taste of the southern fruit and feel its beneficial effects can be enjoyed when eating it as a dessert, in the form of compote, marmalade, additive to baked goods. Also, dried persimmon slices are used for brewing tea, making decoctions.
The most basic and surprising property of persimmons is that it is a very sweet product, but it does not raise blood sugar levels. Therefore, dried fruit from this berry becomes a favorite treat for people suffering from diabetes.
Very tasty dried persimmon as a dessert for tea or coffee. It is a great alternative to confectionery and baked goods. This delicacy will be a great alternative to candy, which is especially valuable for children's diets.
- Consumption of persimmons normalizes the appetite. On the one hand, it stimulates the desire for a hearty meal, but if you eat it an hour before a meal, you can be satiated in smaller portions than usual. Persimmon has beneficial effects on the digestive system, normalizes the acidity of the stomach, stimulates intestinal peristalsis and helps to restore microflora.
- This fruit is useful for people suffering from gastritis and colitis, damage to the mucosa of the stomach.
- Improving the work of the gastrointestinal tract has a positive effect on the state of the skin. In addition, persimmon is a natural antioxidant, removes toxins from tissues. Regular consumption of this product has a rejuvenating effect.
- The pulp contains a large amount of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and rutin. These substances increase the elasticity of the walls of blood vessels. Therefore, the oriental delicacy is an excellent means of preventing varicose veins and the development of hemorrhoids.
- Since ancient times, persimmon has been considered anthelmintic, which is confirmed by modern science.
- This fruit is also useful for the cardiovascular system due to its high potassium content. This trace element improves myocardial fibers and provides effective prevention of heart attacks and strokes. Persimmon is especially good for hypertensive people, because it stabilizes blood pressure. But hypotensive people should not be keen on this delicacy. A large number of persimmons leads to a lower blood pressure, which may worsen the general well-being. Also the potassium contained in this fruit, normalizes the filling of the cells with fluid.
- Thanks to the same potassium, dried persimmon and persimmon compote is a powerful cough suppressant. It helps with bronchitis, tracheitis and other upper respiratory tract diseases.
- Proven fact is the antiviral, antiseptic and antimicrobial action of persimmon. It helps to recover more quickly from illnesses and strengthens the immune system.
- Dried persimmon is an excellent hangover cure. It helps to quickly flush out the oxidation products of alcohols and has a beneficial effect on the liver. This alleviates the condition of the person after alcohol poisoning.
- Biologically active substances stimulate the growth and repair of tissues. Therefore, a diet based on dried persimmon is suitable for the rapid healing of wounds, burns. It was her in the ancient East gave seriously ill for the prevention of suppuration and bedsores. Crushed dried or dried persimmon can be added to the cream, so that it acquired wound-healing and regenerating properties.
- A few dried fruits will help to quickly restore strength and feel a burst of energy. They are especially good as part of an afternoon snack, when one feels tired, tired, and there are still a few hours of work ahead.
- This product also stimulates the production of growth hormone and hemoglobin. Micronutrients in persimmon increase visual acuity through a beneficial effect on the eye muscles. For the elderly, this product will help keep the retina in good condition despite age.
- Recent studies have proven that betulin, contained in persimmon, blocks the development of malignant tumors. Therefore, the consumption of dried and dried fruit is indicated for cancer patients and is recommended for the prevention of the development of neoplasms.
This miracle fruit is capricious and does not tolerate combination with some products. For example, after a person has eaten persimmon, at least an hour should not eat milk and dairy products. Tannins, which in high concentration are contained in this fruit, react with milk protein. This causes an attack of flatulence, excessive gas and abdominal cramps.
The product is hypoallergenic, but there may be cases of individual intolerance to this product. Also with caution dried persimmon should treat expectant and nursing mothers. There are no direct contraindications for eating this delicacy. But first, it is better to eat a small piece of dried persimmon and observe the reaction of the baby and her own condition. If there are no unpleasant feelings - you can happily regale yourself with this delicious and useful fruit.
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