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Author Notes: Steamed persimmon pudding was a staple of Sunset Magazine and Bay Area Junior League cookbooks in the late 20th century. This version is slightly adapted from *Taste the Taste Seasons* by Linda Brandt, published by Woodside-Atherton Auxiliary to Children's Hospital at Stanford. It makes a perfect dessert for Thanksgiving or Christmas when persimmons are in season. (If using Hachiya persimmons as recommended, make sure the fruit is completely soft and jelly-ripe to avoid the pucker factor of unripe persimmons.) —Miriam Bale
Steamed Persimmon Pudding
- 3 very ripe Hachiya persimmons* [see note below]
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 cup butter (softened)
- 1 1/4 cups sugar (or to taste, adjusted according to sweetness of fruit and accompanying sauces)
- 2 lightly beaten eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 tablespoon brandy (adjust to taste, up to 3 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 cup flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup raisins
- Grease a 2-quart pudding mold and its lid with butter or spray with nonstick spray. (You can substitute foil for the lid.)
- Peel persimmons and place in a blender or food processor. Whirl until smooth, then transfer to a measuring cup. You should have about 1 cup of purée. Stir in baking soda; set aside. [*Note these should be extremely ripe, almost gooey Hachiya persimmons, bought or picked well in advance. In a pinch, very soft chopped Fuya can be added or substituted. This is preferable to Hachiya that are not completely soft, which will be too bitter to use.]
- Cream butter with sugar in a large bowl until fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, brandy, and persimmon purée, whisking well to combine. [The persimmon purée will have hardened because of the baking soda, and may be difficult to incorporate. I find using the blender useful at this point, but some orange speckles in the mixture will still lead to a fine result.]
- Sift flour with cinnamon and salt into persimmon mixture. Stir to combine; fold in raisins and walnuts.
- Spoon mixture into prepared mold and secure lid (or cover tightly with foil). Place on a rack in a large pot filled with 2 inches of boiling water. Cover and steam for at least 2 1/2 hours, adding more boiling water as needed. Remove and set aside for ten minutes to cool.
- Invert pudding onto serving plate to unmold. Serve warm with traditional hard sauce or, as I prefer, with lightly sweetened whipped cream flavored with brandy to taste. Can also be served with Lemon Sauce (recipe below), as recommended in original recipe.
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch (disolved in water)
- 2/3 cup water
- 2/3 cup orange juice
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons butter
- To make sauce, combine sugar, cornstarch, water and orange juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, for 3 to 4 minutes until thickened. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes longer or until sauce is transparent. Stir in zest, lemon juice, and butter. Cool.
- Offer lemon sauce separately. Consider doubling if it's the sole sauce offered. [Note: The sauce is delightful, though I think even better on French Toast, or with whipped cream on a meringue or simple cake.]
- This recipe is a Community Pick!