Persimmon pudding isn't really a pudding -- well, in the British sense, yes, but to us Yankees it can be misleading. It's like a boozed and spiced persimmon cake bar conconction, which, semantics aside, is one of my favorite ways to bake with persimmons.
Persimmons in dessert are one of the most underappreciated food preparations out there in our opinion. Here we right that wrong by combining ripe Hachiya persimmons with spices and baking it up for a not-too-sweet sophisticated but super simple dessert.
at room temperature
melted and briefly cooled plus more for coating the baking dish
for optional garnish
for garnish (optional)
Make The Persimmon Puree: Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. With a paring knife, trim away and discard the stem from one persimmon. Using a spoon, scoop out the pulp and discard the skin. Place the pulp in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, being careful not to include any of the tannic skin. Repeat with the remaining persimmons. Process the pulp until smooth, about 1 minute. Measure and set aside 2 cups of puréed pulp. Discard or reserve any extra pulp for another use.
Hachiya persimmons are tapered, teardrop-shaped persimmons and they must be totally ripe and very soft or they'll impart an astringent note to the pudding.
Prepare The Dry Ingredients: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, and orange zest in a large bowl to aerate and break up any lumps; set aside. Coat a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with butter and set aside.
You could bake this in a smaller container if you want a thicker pudding; the baking time will differ so make sure to use a cake tester to tell when it's done.
Make The Persimmon Pudding Batter: Combine the persimmon pulp, half-and-half, brown sugar, and eggs in a large bowl and whisk until evenly blended. Add the melted butter and brandy and whisk until just incorporated. Stir in the flour mixture in four parts, letting the flour incorporate before adding the next part and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary until the flour is totally incorporated.
Bake The Persimmon Pudding: Turn the batter into the prepared dish and bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with toasted hazelnuts and ice cream, yogurt, or whipped cream.
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