I met Kaye England at Bernina Ambassador Reunion last week and discovered we have something in common: we have both fallen out of a persimmon tree! My family had persimmon trees on the small farm where we lived when I was in high school, and they became a delicious part of our holiday celebrations.
SO…I had to share this recipe with Kaye.
Steamed Persimmon Pudding
2 cups persimmon pulp (see notes below about persimmons)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2 cups sugar
2-1/2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups chopped walnuts (I like them very chunky)
2 cups seedless raisins
Mix baking soda and persimmon pulp and set aside. The mixture will gel up.
Sift together the dry ingredients: flour, 1-1/2 cups sugar, spices, salt and baking powder.
Cream together the butter and 1/2 cup sugar. Mix in the milk, vanilla and persimmon pulp.
Mix in the dry ingredients.
Mix in raisins and nuts.
Pour batter into cans, filling them about 2/3 full. Cover the tops of the cans with foil. Place in a large pan and fill the pan with water to the level of the batter, about 2/3 up the side of the cans. Turn on the heat and bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, turn the flame down just high enough to keep the water at a simmer. Steam the puddings for 4-5 hours, until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out moist but clean. The pudding will be quite moist.
Serve warm. You can top it with whipped cream or hard sauce if you wish. It will keep well for a couple of weeks, can be frozen, and re-heats easily in the microwave if you wish.
(For more info try this link: http://www.cuesa.org/food/persimmons)
There are two distinctly different types of persimmon and many varieties of each type.
Astringent varieties, like the acorn-shaped Hachiya (above), must ripen fully before they are eaten; their unripe flesh is tannic and causes an extremely unpleasant sensation in the mouth. Hachiya persimmons are ripe when they are soft.
Non-astringent varieties of persimmon, like the squat Fuyu, can be eaten when they are still hard [about the consistency of a ripe pear]. The fruit’s flavor is sweet and mild, and its texture is smooth. These varieties are perfect for eating out of hand, slicing into salads, or drying in thick rounds. As they ripen further they will become soft like the consistency of the astringent type.
For this recipe, use either type of persimmon, as long as they are softly ripe. Remove the top stem, peel them, remove any seeds and tough membranes, then puree them with a potato masher or food processor. After the puree sits for a bit it will jell up because of all the pectin in it. It will break up again as it is mixed into the batter.
If you want to be able to take the puddings out of the cans easily, line them first with baking parchment.
If you want to bake instead, pour batter into a well-greased pan. Bake at 300 degrees F. Depending on the depth of the batter (a cake pan vs. a loaf pan, for example), baking time will be about 2 hours. Start checking with a toothpick after about 1-1/2 hours.