Home-made hoshigaki (Japanese dried persimmons)
This week in the SF Chronicle there was an article about hoshigaki ...
"Hoshigaki are made from whole Hachiya persimmons, meticulously peeled, that dangle from a pole for a month to dry. While drying, they are gingerly massaged every few days to redistribute the fruit's sugars and bring them to the surface in a delicate white bloom.
Hoshigaki have a yielding texture and an intense but not tannic persimmon flavor"
This seemed interesting, but the local market is charging $19 for about 10 ... no way to try a single. They look like this.
One poster on the SF board has a method of drying these in the oven at home over a three day period. Hope that will get shared here.
I did find a few ways to do this on the web, but none of them three days ... here they are FYI
Cool picture of the stringed persimmons
More stuff about them in general on the General board.
3-day oven drying method, suitable for the foggy SF bay area.
Place whole skinned firm persimmons, either hachiya or fuyu-type, on oven racks, 130 degrees for 72 hours. Smaller ones, 60 hours will do.
After many experiments, IMO, this gives the best texture. Lower than 130, the fruit will ferment. Still okay, if you like a little alcohol in your dried fruit. Length of time is not an exact science. If you do 3+ days, the fruit gets a little smaller and more intense in flavor. After some point, I am sure it turns hard and tastes like cardboard. (Hachiyas need at least two days to get rid of the mouth puckering astringency.)
I usually do hachiyas. Fuyus go into my stomach faster than I can place them in the oven. :-)
Dried persimmons keep well in a dry place. After a week or two, a white powdery substance starts to coat the surface as shown in the picture above.
I'd love to hear your experience if you try this.