Steamed Persimmon Pudding

Growing up we had an Hachiya variety persimmon tree right outside the house. This is the variety that must be fully ripe, i.e. quite soft actually before it is edible. Otherwise, it’s very astringent; like eating an uncured olive. Because of their texture growing up we usually just ate them over the sink.

About fifteen years ago I was introduced to the fuju variety. I scored big time as a dear friend has a tree in her yard. Actually, it’s the only tree left standing in her backyard after the recent Ventura fires. She ships me boxes every November. If you’re not lucky enough to have shipments arrive at your door, you can find them at your local co-op, grocery or Asian market.

Unlike the Hachyna, the fuju variety can be enjoyed while firm or soft similar to the Hachiya variety.  When firm they can be peeled, diced, and added to salads. They can also be peeled, cubed, tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roasted. Serve them this way, for example, alongside a pork roast.

Once they turn soft I cut them in half, scope out the flesh with a spoon, and freeze the pulp in a container until I’m ready to add it to cookie dough or in the recipe below folded into a pudding batter.

Softened butter for buttering mold
1/4 cup (2 oz) Calvados or other brandy
1/4 cup (1 3/4 oz / 50 g) golden raisins (sultanas)
2 cups (9 oz / 250 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 – 4 large, (2 cups) very ripe persimmons
1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz / 100 g) granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room température
1/3 cup (2 ½ oz – 75 ml) neutral vegetable oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup toasted pecans, coursely chopped (optional)
1/4 cup candied ginger chopped (optionnel)

Place brandy and raisins into a small saucepan. Bring just to a simmer. Remove from heat; let stand at least 15 minutes or up to two days. Drain and discard liquid. Set raisins aside. Generously grease an 8-cup lidded pudding mold with soften butter; set aside.

In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside.

Peel persimmons, removing any black seeds and transfer to bowl of a food processor. Using the metal “S” blade, process until smooth. You should have about 2 cups of pulp; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together sugar and eggs on medium-high until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla and while mixing on low speed slowly pour in the oil; mix until well combined. Add persimmon pulp and mix to combine.

Add flour mixture to persimmon mixture and mix just until combined and smooth, scraping down sides of bowl once during mixing. Fold in the raisins and if adding fold in pecans, and ginger. Transfer mixture to prepared mold and cover with buttered parchment paper round; cover mold with lid.

Fit a large pot with a rack and place filled pudding mold on rack in pot. Add just enough boiling water to come halfway up the mold. Top with a lid and place pot over high heat and bring to a boil; immediately reduce heat to a simmer and cook until pudding springs back when touched, about 2 1/2 hours, adding more boiling water as necessary to maintain water level.

Remove mold from pot and uncover. Let pudding cool in mold for 1 hour, then carefully run a sharp knife around the top edge of the pudding to loosen from the mold and invert carefully onto serving platter.


Lemon Sauce

1 cup (7 oz) granulated sugar, divided
Pinch of salt
1 3/4 tablespoon cornstarch
½ cup boiling water
2 large eggs
Zest of one lemon, preferably organic
¼ cup lemon juice
4 tablespoon unsalted butter

Whisk together half the sugar, salt, cornstarch, and boiling water in a heat-proof bowl. Set bowl over a bane marie and whisk until syrup is clear. Remove from heat.

In another bowl whisk together eggs and remaining sugar. Set bowl over same band marie and whisk until sugar is dissolved. While continuing to whisk slowly pour in sugar mixture. Add lemon zest, juice, and butter. Whisk until thickened.

Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Serve with Steamed pudding.

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