[NAFEX] Viburnum Fruits
tropicofkansas at sbcglobal.net
Sat Dec 30 18:00:48 EST 2006
I'm happy that someone besides me is interested in viburnum fruits. They are one of my favorites. There are a couple of plantings on the Kansas University campus here in Lawrence, that I am pretty sure are prunifolium. These plantings add up to perhaps ten trees, all fully grown and fruiting. They produce a large quantity of fruit, but as you know, that doesn't add up to such a large quantity of edible pulp. I find that the different trees are fairly variable as to fruit quality and ripening schedule, but the best ones have a faintly tart prune flavor with a hint of something like licorice. The fruits are bitter until they are fully blue/black in color, and if you wait too long to pick them they dry out and lose all of their flavor. This is complicated by uneven ripening among fruits in the same cluster. When all goes well, I can pick a plastic grocery bag full of fruits in an evening. Then I mash them through a seive to separate the pulp from the seeds and skins. I tried a
food mill, but got a lot of the skin in my pulp paste, and I found that less appealing. A full bag of good fruits will net about a quart of finished pulp. Not a lot for a fair bit of labor, but I find the flavor delightful. And the pulp itself is really odd stuff; inky black stiff paste that does not stain. It is not the sort of stuff that I can imagine making jam out of, but I bake it into a sweet bread. Use the same recipe you would use for persimmon pulp, and in the same, or slightly smaller proportion, depending upon how strong the flavor of your viburnum paste.
Cheers, Eric Farnsworth
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