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Steamed Persimmon Pudding with Silky Persimmon Puree

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The following persimmon pudding recipe was submitted by award-winning cookbook author Deborah Madison.  She tells me it makes a moist cake-like pudding, rather than a wet one.  She also says, "Here’s a pudding that’s as dark as chocolate, as light as a feather, but dense with deep fruit flavor. It is also very easy to make. It’s served warm with brandied whipped cream and a silky orange persimmon puree. This recipe was given to Joanne Neft by a friend of hers who had enjoyed it in her family for over 40 years.  Joanne gave it to me and it may well become a favorite of yours, a treasured recipe to pass onto friends."

This recipe was also in Deborah's book, Local Flavors, Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers Markets (Broadway, 2008) - winner of a James Beard Award.  The recipe and accompanying text is reprinted here by permission.

Steamed Persimmon Pudding with Silky Persimmon Puree (Serves 6) (click here for recipe with metric measurements)  

For steaming you will need a bowl or pudding mold with a 6 to 8 cup capacity.

The Pudding

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup wild persimmon puree
1 cup sugar
1 beaten egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1.  Select a bowl for your pudding.  It can be made of crockery, metal, glass, or it can be a proper pudding mold with a lid.  Make sure it fits in a second pan when covered with a lid.  Place a small inverted bowl in the pan for your mold to sit on so it won’t be directly over the heat.

2.  Melt the butter. Generously brush some of it over the pudding dish and set aside the rest.  Put the buttered mold on the inverted bowl.  Bring a teakettle of water to a boil.

3.  Put the puree in a bowl with the remaining melted butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, milk, and salt.  Whisk until well combined.  Stir the dry ingredients together, then whisk them into the wet ingredients. 

4.  Pour the batter into the mold.  Add the boiling water in the water bath pan to come 2/3 of the way up the sides, then cover the pan and cook gently for 1-1/2 hours.  When the pudding is done, a cake tester inserted will come out clean.  Remove it from the pan, then invert it onto a serving plate.  If you’re not ready to serve, leave the mold resting on the pudding so that it will retain its heat.  Whip the cream and make the persimmon puree (see below), if using.

5.  To serve, spoon a little of the whipped cream around the base of the pudding, along with a ribbon of the persimmon of puree.  Or you can spoon drops of the puree into the cream, then fan them out with a tip of the knife.  If you like, garnish the plate with pine or holly.

The Whipped Cream

1 egg, beaten
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup brandy
1 cup whipping cream

Beat the egg with the sugar, butter, and brandy.  Whip the cream into soft peaks, then fold it into the remaining ingredients.  If it separates before serving, a few strokes of the whisk will bring it back to a smooth, ivory sauce.

The Silky Persimmon PureeLocal Flavors, Cooking and Eating from Americas Farmers Markets.  (Broadway Books, 2008)

1 tablespoon sugar or honey, to taste
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, to taste
pinch of salt
1 or more cups persimmon puree

Stir the sugar, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt into the persimmon puree.  Taste and add more sugar or lemon juice, if desired.  Makes about 1 cup.


Steamed Persimmon Pudding with Silky Persimmon Puree (Serves 6) (metric measurements)

For steaming you will need a bowl or pudding mold with a 1425 mL to 1900 mL capacity.

The Pudding

240 g unsalted butter
480 mL wild persimmon puree
200 g sugar
1 beaten egg
5 mL vanilla
120 mL milk
2.5 mL salt
120 g flour
10 mL baking soda
5 mL cinnamon

1.  Select a bowl for your pudding.  It can be made of crockery, metal, glass, or it can be a proper pudding mold with a lid.  Make sure it fits in a second pan when covered with a lid.  Place a small inverted bowl in the pan for your mold to sit on so it won’t be directly over the heat.

2.  Melt the butter. Generously brush some of it over the pudding dish and set aside the rest.  Put the buttered mold on the inverted bowl.  Bring a teakettle of water to a boil.

3.  Put the puree in a bowl with the remaining melted butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, milk, and salt.  Whisk until well combined.  Stir the dry ingredients together, then whisk them into the wet ingredients. 

4.  Pour the batter into the mold.  Add the boiling water in the water bath pan to come 2/3 of the way up the sides, then cover the pan and cook gently for 1-1/2 hours.  When the pudding is done, a cake tester inserted will come out clean.  Remove it from the pan, then invert it onto a serving plate.  If you’re not ready to serve, leave the mold resting on the pudding so that it will retain its heat.  Whip the cream and make the persimmon puree (see below), if using.

5.  To serve, spoon a little of the whipped cream around the base of the pudding, along with a ribbon of the persimmon of puree.  Or you can spoon drops of the puree into the cream, then fan them out with a tip of the knife.  If you like, garnish the plate with pine or holly.

The Whipped Cream

1 egg, beaten
100 g powdered sugar
30 mL melted butter
60 mL brandy
240 mL whipping cream

Beat the egg with the sugar, butter, and brandy.  Whip the cream into soft peaks, then fold it into the remaining ingredients.  If it separates before serving, a few strokes of the whisk will bring it back to a smooth, ivory sauce.

The Silky Persimmon Puree

15 mL sugar or honey, to taste
5 mL fresh lemon juice, to taste
pinch of salt
240 mL or more cups persimmon puree

Stir the sugar, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt into the persimmon puree.  Taste and add more sugar or lemon juice, if desired.  Makes about 240 mL.