November 2, 2010


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Who loves persimmons?  Who has even heard of the fruit?  My dad always used to bring "exotic" fruit home to cut and eat after dinner.  Papayas, mangos, Chinese apples, persimmons...not the typical apple or oranges.  Now that it's fall, persimmons are out and about, even at the corner fruit carts. 

A few facts...(c/o Wikipedia)
  • It's in the ebony wood family, also known as "fruit of the gods".
  • The two common varieties: heart-like Hachiya and the squat, tomato-like Fuyu. 
  • Unripened persimmons contain a soluble tanin that can polymerize in the stomach and form a gluey coagulum (Gross!).  Sometimes Coca Cola can be used to de-polymerize.

I haven't gotten around to making this delicious looking recipe for Ruby Blackburn Lambert's persimmon pudding, but it's on my list.  Here's another one for a persimmon pudding cake from Simply Recipes.

Only Ice Cream

Total time: About 1 hour

Servings: Makes 3 puddings, with 6 to 8 servings each

1 cup butter or shortening or butter-flavored Crisco
2 scant cups sugar
4 eggs
1 quart ripe Hachiya persimmons (about 6 fruits), hulled and put through a food mill or ricer to remove seeds to make about 2 cups purée
1 cup whole milk
2 cups (8.5 ounces) flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups fine breadcrumbs
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Whipped cream, chopped pecans, ice cream or other toppings, for garnish

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 3 standard loaf pans or pie dishes.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, then the persimmons and milk. Beat in the flour, baking powder, salt, breadcrumbs and cinnamon. Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared dishes.

3. Bake the puddings until each has puffed, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes; rotate each pudding halfway through baking for even coloring. (Pudding baked in a pie plate will take less time to bake because of the increased surface area.) The puddings will settle as they cool.
4. Serve hot from the oven topped with whipped cream, chopped pecans or -- better yet -- butter pecan ice cream.
Each of 24 servings: 208 calories; 3 grams protein; 30 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 9 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 57 mg. cholesterol; 18 grams sugar; 200 mg. sodium.

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