Now bring us persimmon pudding

  • While pureed hachiya persimmons are the base of the pudding, chopped fuyu persimmons add texture.

    While pureed hachiya persimmons are the base of the pudding, chopped fuyu persimmons add texture.

 
Posted12/21/2015 6:00 AM

Persimmon pudding is a traditional American dessert often served during the holidays. Personally, I like to serve it anytime it's chilly. My research tells me that Indiana claims it as one of their legendary local desserts. Other sites suggest it first sprang up in the South.

Although it is often steamed, my pudding is baked and is Seriously Simple to prepare.

 

It has a rich, creamy center, spiced nutmeg notes and a slightly crisp crust. If you can, snag the corner piece: It has lots of crispy edges.

This version of my persimmon pudding from my cookbook "The Cuisine of California" (Chronicle Books, 1997) shows off two decidedly different varieties:

1. Astringent hachiyas, elongated, with a pointed tip, need to become very soft before using. Pureed, they are the base for the pudding.

2. Ripe fuyus, resembling squat tomatoes, are chopped and added for extra persimmon texture and flavor.

Cut into squares and serve with whipped cream, creme fraiche, softened French vanilla ice cream or vanilla yogurt to temper the very sweet notes.

• Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks, including "Seriously Simple Parties," and a James Beard Award-winning radio show host. You can contact her at www.seriouslysimple.com.

Double-Persimmon Pudding

1 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

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3 large or 4 medium ripe Hachiya persimmons (about 2 cups)

2 large eggs

cup granulated sugar

cup packed brown sugar

1 cups half-and-half

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

cup ( stick) unsalted butter, melted

2 Fuyu persimmons, peeled, seeded and cut into -inch pieces

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Generously butter a 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice and nutmeg. Set aside.

Peel the Hachiya persimmons and remove any seeds. Place in a food processor or in a blender, and puree. You should have about 2 cups.

Combine the persimmon puree, eggs and sugars in a large bowl. Stir until well blended. Combine the dry ingredients and the half-and-half, then stir into persimmon mixture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Add the vanilla, butter and Fuyu persimmons and mix well. Pour into the prepared dish and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until puffed and brown.

Cut into squares and serve warm.

Serves 8 to 10

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