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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Persimmon Pudding | You've Got Meal!

This dish is not a very common one for us, and that’s to say the least. The persimmon fruit has been introduced in local markets around here scarcely these past years, and because people liked it, the retailers have been bringing bigger quantities. A traditional fruit in Asia and America, in Europe is seems to be more popular in the Western part. When we first tasted the fruit (the Hachiya version can be found here) we liked the sweet, nectar like taste of the persimmon (the retailers call it kaki, which is a part of its Latin name). Maybe it was just a personal opinion, but it tasted a bit like honey comb, and that’s a plus for any fruit in my book.

I tried looking for uses for this fruit and the most oblivious one was to make a persimmon pudding – we’re heading for Christmas after all. I’m going to be honest and admit that we didn’t really went for the pudding like consistency and rather for more of a moist pie. Why? Because pudding mean something totally different in our kitchen and we LOVE pie. I mean, who doesn’t?

Let’s break down the ingredients:
  • 400 grams of persimmon pulp, 
  • 2 cups all purpose white flour, 
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder, 
  • half a tsp. of nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, 
  • 1 ½ tsp. ginger (be it fresh or powder), 
  • ¾ cups brown sugar, 
  • 100 grams melted butter,
  • 2 cups milk, 
  • 2 eggs, 
  • 25 ml orange blossom water, 
  • 30 ml of pomegranate liqueur,
  •  mascarpone, crème fraiche and powder sugar for garnishing. 

Making this traditional Christmas desert recipe is as easy as pie – pun intended. 
  1. Remove the skin and the seeds and the skin of the fruits and blitz the pulp in a fruit processor or blender – this way works better especially when you can’t find really ripe fruits that can easily be mashed. 
  2. Mix the fruit with the sugar. 
  3. Next, sift the flour, spices and baking powder and mix them well. Add the fruit to the flour and combine them really well, making sure there are no lumps. 
  4. To the flour and fruit add the milk, eggs, orange blossom water, pomegranate liqueur and butter and incorporate them all in. 
  5. Use some butter to coat the inside of a baking tray (feel free to use some oven proof paper). 
  6. Pour the persimmon mixture in the tray and pop that in the preheated oven (160 Celsius) for 45 minutes. 

The result will be a rather moist pie. And a big warning here: in the oven, the pudding will rise, but as you take it out, it will drop considerably – don’t worry, it’s a matter of taste not of size (a little “That’s what she said” joke). The last 3 ingredients on the list are for the topping. Mix them in your desired quantities in order to obtain a topping to your liking: more Mascarpone for a thicker, stronger mixture, or more cream for a runnier, more malleable outcome.

For the last step, to really make the pudding perfect we wanted to add a little crunch. We wanted nuts, we also wanted some toffee taste, so we went for some toffee nuts. J 
In a skillet, melt 50 g of butter, add 3 tbsp brown sugar and wait for the sugar to dissolve. Add the nuts, coat them in the mixture, and 2 tbsp of milk and wait for the sauce to thicken in order for the walnuts to be nicely coated in the toffee-like dressing.  Once you remove them from heat, the sauce will thicken pretty fast and the walnut pieces will have the tendency to stick to each other. You should try to separate them, you could remove them from the sauce, put them on a flat surface and separate them some more with a knife. Sprinkle them on top of the Mascarpone cream.

What can we say, in conclusion, for this dish (that we’ve cooked for the 1st time )? I think that tradition plays a big role here and the way this pudding will look depends a lot on what you’ve been used to in your past experiences with the dish. For us, it means that we might want to experiment more with spices we throw in the mixture. The slightly spicy taste of this version pudding is a keeper for Christmas, but maybe things can get a turn for the French in a different take (Bourbon vanilla, more butter, some Creme de Cassis, who knows).   

In any case, enjoy this dish and, in advance, Merry Christmas!


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  2. Thank you! I will take a look for sure.


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