Persimmon are an interesting fruit. They have a unique flavor and can be used in a variety of recipes, from sweet to savory. The puree of ripe persimmons has the consistency of pureed bananas, but a flavor reminiscent of dates, and the most beautiful, intense, orange color. When I was a little girl my grandfather had a persimmon tree and I remember helping my mom make a persimmon fruit cake. Although fruit cake makes most people wrinkle their nose, this one was dense, dark, rich, moist and very delicious. I'm not sure what happened to my mom's recipe, so when I was recently given persimmons by my neighbor, I was on my own. I found this recipe in the November 2009 Bon Appetit. I hadn't made a steamed pudding before, and now seemed like the time to give it a try. This "pudding" is really a moist cake with delicate flavors, nice crumb and beautiful color. Creme Anglaise is the perfect accompaniment, adding a touch of cinnamon without disguising the persimmon flavor. Of course a dollop of whipped cream wouldn't hurt either.
Persimmon Puddingadapted from Bon Appetit November 2009
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
3/4 cup fresh persimmon pulp
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup apricot preserves ( I omitted this step)
Cinnamon Creme Anglaise
Butter and flour one 8 cup metal pudding mold with center tube and lid, than spray mold and lid with nonstick spray. Bring a large kettle of water to a boil. Place a rack in bottom of deep pot large enough to hold the pudding mold. Whisk the first six ingredients in a bowl. Using and electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in a large bowl until fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and beat until blended. Beat in persimmon puree and lemon juice.
Spoon batter into pudding mold. cover with lid.( I didn't have a lid so I used heavy duty tin foil as a cover and a large rubber band to hold it in place.)
Place pudding mold on rack in pot. Add enough boiling water to come halfway up sides of mold. Return water to boil, cover pot, then reduce heat and simmer until top of pudding feels firm to touch and tester inserted near center comes out clean, adding more simmering water to pot to maintain water level, about 2 hours.
Remove mold from pot. Uncover pudding; let cool. Invert onto plate.
(I omitted this step) Bring apricot preserves to simmer in small sauce pan. Strain through fine strainer set over bowl. Using a pastry brush spread preserves over outside of pudding.
Cinnamon Creme Anglaise
2 cups whole milk
1 3-4 inch cinnamon stick
6 large egg yolks
5 tablespoons sugar
Combine milk and cinnamon stick in a medium saucepan. Over medium heat bring to a simmer . Remove form heat; cover and let seep 1 hour.
Whisk egg yolks, sugar and salt in medium bowl. Return milk mixture to a simmer. Gradually whisk milk mixture into yolks mixture. Return mixture to saucepan. Stir constantly over medium heat until sauce thickens and instant read thermometer inserted into mixture registers 165 degrees F., about 3 minutes, do not boil.
Remove from heat. Strain through sieve into small bowl; cool. Cover: chill until cold.
Serve pudding at room temperature with Cinnamon Creme Anglaise