I’ve had a bowl of unripe fuyu persimmons keeping m company in The Lab for weeks now, picked by Ollie when he was out filling buckets (and buckets!) with quince. They’re gorgeous to look at piled in a purple bowl but what to do with them… eat a few when they ripen, scooping out the silky-slimy flesh with a spoon; toss a few that start oozing; try a chutney recipe; yes, that all sort of works. But my real love is jam so today, with nothing urgent pending, is a day to play with persimmon. And straight up, this is not going to be a sellable jam – it’s messy, fiddly prep. Yanking out the caps then squashing or pulling or chopping or scraping the fruit depending on the ripeness. Then there’s this funny papery peel the really ripe ones develop. Puts me in mind of mushrooms which is never a good thing. Weighed, my bowl of persimmon comes in at 1 and a bit kilos, calling for 2 3/4 cups sugar although I might add more later. Zest of 1 and juice of 2 Tahitian limes. 1/2 tsp of cracked pepper for contrast – colour, texture and taste. 1/2 a vanilla bean split and scraped because this is JAM (even if unofficial) and vanilla bean is default. So the jam is macerating… I can wander round chanting ‘fuyu… fuyu persimmon’… feels good!