By Sheri Castle from
THE NEW SOUTHERN GARDEN COOKBOOK
Persimmon pudding is a very old dessert that has countless variations. Some are firm like gingerbread cake and others are creamy spoon food. The only common denominator is persimmons, and even that isn’t straightforward. Sheri uses soft Hachiya persimmons and adds apricot preserves.
Vegetable oil spray
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup fine stoneground cornmeal
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 large eggs
¾ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
¾ cup Hachiya persimmon purée plus ¼ cup apricot preserves
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Whipped cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mist the inside of a 1½-quart baking dish with the spray. The pudding bakes in a water bath, so set the dish inside a baking pan. Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
Whisk the eggs in a large bowl until the whites and yolks are blended, then vigorously whisk in the brown sugar until it dissolves and the mixture thickens. Gently whisk in the buttermilk and persimmon purée.
Add the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula only until the dry ingredients disappear into the batter. Stir in the melted butter.
Scrape the batter into the small baking dish. Pour enough very hot tap water into the baking pan to come halfway up the sides of the dish.
Bake until the top is puff ed and the pudding is just set, about 1 hour. A thin knife inserted about 1 inch from the center should come out moist but not wet. Remove the dish from the water bath and let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving warm or at room temperature, topped with whipped cream if you like.
Sheri Castle is the author of The New Southern Garden Cookbook: Enjoying the Best from Homegrown Gardens, Farmers' Markets, Roadside Stands, and CSA Farm Boxes. Copyright © 2011 by Sheri Castle.