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Apr 20 / JW

Alex’s Persimmon Pudding


This recipe comes from the lovely Alex. She is my dear friend Katherine’s mom, and I love her! When I lived in San Francisco, I went to their house  two years in a row for Thanksgiving, and I think we had this both times. It wasn’t like any other dessert I’ve had, not to mention I had no knowledge of persimmons whatsoever, so naturally I was intrigued.
I forced her to give me the recipe, which I have gladly held onto until now! I was finally able to find persimmons(hachiya variety) in Sydney, so here it is; the wonderful and delectible steamed persimmon pudding:

First, a few facts about persimmons….they are quite healthy you know:
  • The fruit is low in calories (provides 70 cal/100g) and fats but is rich source of dietary fiber.
  • Persimmons contain many health benefiting phyto-nutrients flavonoid poly-phenolic anti-oxidants likecatechins and gallocatechins as well as important anti-tumor compound betulinic acid. Catechins are known to have anti-infective, anti-inflammatory and anti-hemorrhagic (prevents bleeding from small blood vessels) properties.
  • Fresh permissions contain anti-oxidant compounds like vitamin-A, beta carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin. These compounds functions as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals that play a role in aging and various disease processes.
  • The fruits are also very good source of vitamin-C, another powerful antioxidant (especially native Chinese and American persimmons; provide 80% of DRI).

You want to eat them(or use them) when they are reallllly soft and jelly like. Way softer than you would normally buy fruit. Like this:

First, take 3-4 persimmons and carefully remove the top stem, then cut in half and place in a blender. You want one cup of pulp. I used four and had a lot.

Now here is the recipe in its original form(my notes are in italics):

1 cup persimmon pulp (about 3 very ripe ones)
1/2 c butter softened –113 grams
3/4 c sugar
1 beaten egg
1 cup flour
1 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
1/2 cup milk
1 t vanilla
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg. Sift flour with soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add to butter mixture alternating with milk. Stir in persimmon pulp and vanilla. Mix well.

Pour batter into well greased 1qt. mold (I used a round 1 qt pyrex dish) cover tightly with lid or foil.Use a kettle or roasting pan that is deeper than the mold. Place on a rack in the bottom to support the mold and fill with enough water to so as not to evaporate during the steaming, usually about one fourth of the depth.

I used a 4 qt dutch oven, and a metal steamer basket, with the pyrex dish on top:

Cover kettle tightly and steam on top of the stove or in a 325 degree oven for 2 hours letting water just simmer. Cool pudding until lukewarm and unmold turning upside down on the serving plate.

The lid will probably pop off, but don’t worry about that, just place it loosely or use foil. Also I didnt unmold mine, I just served scoops out of the dish.

If you wish to serve flaming, warm 1/4 c  brandy pour over pudding and light.Can be served with hard sauce, cream, ice cream.If making ahead, cool, unmold and wrap pudding well for storage in fridge or freezer. It will keep in fridge for 2 weeks. To serve, wrap snugly in foil and re -steam without water touching the foil, until heated through

I believe the provenance of this dish is from the Junior League of Palo Alto, circa 1980. And I love it.

I served it with a vanilla maple mascarpone, but you can use any of the suggestions for sauces above, or create your own.

Thanks Alex!



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  1. Kat / Apr 25 2011

    OMG. I love that you made this. I cant wait to hear how it came out. xx

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