3 large (about 1 pound total) very ripe and soft Hachiya persimmons, with stems removed
1/2 cup (1 stick/4 oz./113 gm) unsalted butter, softened
6 tbsp. brown sugar, firmly packed
6 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
For Flambe: (optional)
1/3 cup brandy
Holly Sprig (real or artificial)
Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream
You will need:
1). 1-quart pudding mold
2). Large stock pot with lid (pot must be taller than the pudding mold)
3). Kettle or large pot for boiling water
4). 1 small trivet or rack, for placing inside the bottom of large stock pot
5). Either a blender or a food processor
Purée the persimmons (with the skins) in a blender or the bowl of a food processor; set aside. Beat the butter and sugars together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the beaten egg and combine thoroughly.
Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients, one third at a time, to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk. Add the persimmon purée and vanilla and blend thoroughly.
Generously butter a 1-quart mold. Pour the batter into the mold and cover tightly with a buttered lid or aluminum foil.
Place a rack in a pot taller than the mold. Place the mold on the rack and add enough boiling water to reach the middle of the mold. Cover the pot with a lid or aluminum foil. Place over medium heat on the stove top (It can also be baked in a preheated 325°F/160°C oven.) Cook until firm, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Check the water level frequently and add more boiling water if necessary to maintain the same level.
Transfer mold to cooling rack; remove the lid and let cool until lukewarm.
To serve, invert the pudding onto a serving plate and lift off the mold. If desired, dust with confectioners' sugar and garnish top with a holly sprig.
Brandy Flambe: (optional)
In a small saucepan, warm the brandy over medium heat just until it begins to bubble around the edges. Immediately remove from the heat and ignite with a match. Pour the flaming brandy over the warm pudding. When the flames die, serve the pudding immediately with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
Makes 6-8 servings.
Photograph taken by Diana Baker Woodall© 2006
Date: December 9, 2003