Friday, December 3, 2010

Persimmon Holiday Pudding

This steamed pudding, which originally came from a Martha Stewart Living publication, has been in my repertoire for about a decade now, and every year I seem to tweak it a little to make it more suitable to my tastes.  It has become a tradition to make at least one of these for our guests during the holidays and at least one or two to give away as a gift.  Even those who claim they don't like persimmons, will be quite surprised at how delectable this dessert really is.  It reminds me of a plum pudding, which is very traditional for the holidays in Great Britain.  Why not try making one this season?




I came across these beauties at my local farmer's market.  Can you blame me for buying them? The most common persimmons are Fuyu and Hachiya.  Fuyu persimmons are shaped like a squat tomato and are ready to use even when they are firm to the touch; the skins must be peeled.  Hachiya are more tear shaped (pictured above) and must be soft before they are edible or they will be astringent.  There is a native persimmon that grows in the midwest and south that many people swear by. Use whatever you like. 





Start by placing a small round cake rack at the bottom of a deep stockpot.  This pudding can be made in a traditional pudding mold or in a heatproof bowl.  Fill your pot with water so that it comes up at least halfway up the sides of your mold.   Turn on your heat and bring it to a boil.


In a small saucepan, heat 1/2 cup cranberry juice.  Pour over 1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries and let macerate for 10 minutes.  Drain & reserve 1 tablespoon.

Note: you may substitute other dried fruit, but use the same amount.


Slice the tops of 2 large persimmons.

Slip a large spoon under the skin and scoop out the flesh.  Cut the fruit & puree in your food processor until smooth.  If you notice any seeds, remove them.  You should have 1 1/2 cups puree. 

Note: you can mash this up with a pastry cutter if you don't have a food processor.





The Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons of room temperature unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large room temperature eggs
  •  1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  •  1 tablespoon reserved cranberry juice
  •  1 cup room temperature milk
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups persimmon puree
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons hot water
  • 1/2 cup chopped, dried cranberries that were macerated (above)

I'm using the new paddle attachment (right) for my Kitchenaid.  This has built in scrapers which reach up the sides of the bowl.



Cream your butter and sugar well until it is very light.  This should take you about 3 minutes or so.



Add your eggs one at a time.  You want the butter and sugar to absorb the eggs fully before adding the next one.  If you don't have one of the new paddles, stop your machine and scrape down your bowl.  This is very important.




Add your reserved cranberry juice.  At this point you should also add your vanilla.




Sift your dry ingredients into a large bowl using a sieve.  I know most people nowadays sift by using a whisk, but for this pudding, I use a sieve.






Add your pureed persimmon on low speed.  Mix well.  In a small bowl, combine your hot water and baking soda.  Add this to your mixture.




Add your dry ingredients next.  Mix this in 3 additions alternating with the milk.  Incorporate these on low speed.  You don't want to have a snowfall of flour on your counter.



The milk being poured down the side of the bowl.





Finally add your dried cranberries.




 I used Pam with flour to prepare my mold.   A more traditional approach would be to butter the vessel.  A steamed pudding mold like this one should come with a lid, so spray/butter that too.  However, if you're using a pudding bowl, cover it with a piece of parchment.  You can secure it with a large rubber band or tie it with kitchen twine.





 Fill your pudding mold and scrape ever bit of batter.  I'm using a 2 qt. mold.





 Carefully lower your pudding into the simmering water.  Steam for 2 hours and 15 minutes.  From time to time, check your water level and make sure it stays halfway up the sides of your mold.  It's very important to maintain a simmer and NOT a boil.





 After the pudding is done, remove the mold carefully and cool on a rack for 15 minutes undisturbed.  Find a nice cake stand or serving plate and unmold it.  This one sits atop an antique pressed glass cake stand.  The pudding is quite fragrant.





I use my favorite pieces of Wedgwood drabware to serve some tea & a generous wedge of the pudding.  The napkin is Russian jacquard.



A closeup.

Now that I've shown you how easy it is to prepare this pudding, I hope you make it one of your traditions this holiday.

Cheers!



3 comments:

  1. You make me want to bake everytime I see your posts. It looks so effortless. Will have to try!!

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  2. It's all about being organized and measuring carefully.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I find your storage solutions unique. Most peole can't see beyond the standard kitchen cabinet for storage. When I was first married, I used wood crates in stacked for storage in my oh so tiny galley kitchen. The solution was cost effective and stylish.
    Many years ago, I found a 1930's child's wardrobe at a thrift store. I knew instantly that it would serve me well for storage in my 1930's kitchen. On the left side it has three drawers. The top two are pretty standard size, the bottom one is deep. I use the top one for storing 4 loaves of bread. The second one houses zip lock bags in various sizes, sandwich bags, parchment paper, waxed paper, and sometimes a shorter roll of foil. The deep drawer houses the different sized plastic storage containers, and the appropriate lids for each.
    The right side of the wardrobe is like a tiny closet. It has a rod way up in the top. I use that with giant S hooks for hanging utensils that aren't used often. Below that, I put a long, rubber coated rack, (I think it was for storing plates when new). I use that rack to store my graduated cookie sheets, cake pans of all shapes and sizes, pizza pans, and odd lids I use for my old cast iron skillets. All fits perfectly in the devided rack. On top of the wardrobe I have giant jars that hold brown sugar and oats. I also put my different sized cutting boards next to the jars.
    The little wardrobe has served me well for twenty years. It now is used here in my big house/tiny kitchen.
    have a good day David.
    Ruth Jones Miller

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