Both my NC grandmothers--like many another in NC and VA--made wild persimmon pudding for Thanksgiving and Christmas every year. Mom's mother made hers with coconut and sweet potatoes, and it was firm enough to slice into squares but still soft all the way through. My dad's mom made hers in a wood stove (with her own butter and milk and flour from Papa's wheat) and it was plain and thin with a chewy crust. My dad and I thought hers was perfect. When my turn came, however, I had my Granny's recipe, but not Grandma's. Thus began my quest to transform the one recipe into one that would meet my dad's approval--which took about 20 years. Since I live in Washington, DC, I spent many country drives searching the roadside for persimmon trees and, after the first frosts had ripened the fruit until it's skin was opaque and they'd dropped from the tree, we'd rush out to gather enough for a pudding before the fruit was smashed or covered in red clay dust. But then came urban sprawl and manicured lawns where my wild trees had hung over the lanes and, unless some miracle intervened in one of our fall trips to visit family, our winter holidays were pudding-less. At last, Asian persimmons to the rescue and our holidays are joyful again. Herewith Grandma's persimmon pudding--no spices, no flavorings, no additions--plain and simple farm ingredients, plus sugars. —Rufty
ripe wild or Asian persimmons, sieved
dark brown sugar
egg, whisked slightly
heavy whipping cream
In This Recipe
Mix persimmons, sugars, egg and milk together in large bowl.
Whisk in the flour, a little at a time, beating until smooth after each addition.
Stir in melted butter.
Pour into 9" X 13" pan and bake in 350 degree oven until the pudding is firm and has formed a chewy crust on top, approximately 1 1/4 hrs.
When slightly cool, cut into squares. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream on top.