Simone Appetit: Tis the season for persimmons
I know. I am sick of writing “Tis the season,” but it can’t be helped. It really is. The widely anticipated holidays (note: I did not say “encroaching” this time) just bring forth all kinds of new produce, liquor and candy. I am going with produce again for this column because I have had enough candy, liquor and candy liqueur to last me through three lifetimes.
So I bring you to … persimmons. They are usually that thing you look at in the grocer isle and ask, “What am I supposed to do with that?” I’ll tell you. In Japan they just eat them right up like an apple. They are said to be the ultimate hangover cure. Maybe that is why we are blessed with them this time of the year. But unless they blended it up with some Bloody Mary mixings and a couple aspirin, I would beg to differ.
Persimmons are best used to emote goodness. The smell of a persimmon pudding wafting through the house just says “Jingle Bells” or “Shucks, better rush out and buy those gift cards for my loved ones.”
My aunt Pat Button made a remarkable persimmon pudding, also persimmon chocolate chip cookies. She is no longer with us, but the pudding recipe will be lovingly passed down through the generations. One of my cousins is still holding out on the cookie recipe.
Well, you gotta’ start somewhere.
Patricia Button’s persimmon pudding
2 cups persimmon pulp (about 8 persimmons)
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup flour
pinch of salt 1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbls. honey
4 tbls. butter, melted
1 carton of my newest BFF — best-found find — Cool Whip Frosting, Cream Cheese, in the freezer section, near the cakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13-inch pan, lightly, with non-stick spray. Set aside. Mix the persimmon pulp and sugar — set aside.
Whisk together eggs and baking soda and then add to the persimmon mixture. Beat well and set aside again. Mix together the flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon.
Stir in 1/4 cup of the flour mixture into the persimmon mixture. Add 1/4 cup of the buttermilk and mix well. Continue alternating the flour and buttermilk, adding 1/4 cup at a time, mixing well, until you have used all of both. Now stir in cream and honey (there’s a song in there) and butter until well combined.
Pour your pudding batter into the prepared pan and bake until set, about one hour. Turn off heat and leave pudding in oven. Do not jiggle or stir. Let it sit for about five minutes. Remove and top with a thin layer of BFF, or huge glob.