A Favorite Holiday Recipe
Baking as a holiday tradition is something that my family really looks forward to. Years ago, I was introduced to this Persimmon Pudding recipe from Emily Luchetti, and it very quickly became a holiday staple. I don’t think we’ve ever since had a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner without it. In fact, a dear friend hosts a persimmon party every year in her garden, beneath her extraordinary persimmon tree. She makes it a competition, and the first year I won with this recipe. The prize was a kumquat tree, which to this day grows in my garden and bears the most delicious kumquats. Persimmon Pudding Serves 8 Ingredients: About 5 ripe Hachiya persimmons 3 large eggs 1 cup granulated sugar 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to warm 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 2 cups of half and half (or 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of heavy cream) Instructions: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan. Remove the stems from the persimmons and cut the flesh into pieces. Purée the persimmon flesh in a food processor until smooth. Strain the purée through a medium-mesh sieve to eliminate any bits of skin and seed. You should have 2 cups purée. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until blended. Whisk in the melted butter. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves onto a piece of parchment paper or into a bowl. Add the salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Slowly pour in the milk and cream, stirring until combined. Stir in the persimmon purée. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving. The pudding will sink as it cools. Serve the pudding warm, scooped into bowls with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. It can be reheated it in a 325°F oven for about 15 minutes.