We have it on our menu every fall, but because we use wild persimmons, the amount and duration vary from year to year. My main persimmon source is Mrs. Mary Andrews, now aged ninety who I’ve been buying produce from her for at least thirty years. They fall from the tree at night and when ripe they are very sticky, so each evening she puts a sheet on the ground under the trees to catch them.
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups persimmon purée
2 cups buttermilk
1½ cups sugar
3 large eggs
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 4×8×12-inch baking pan with 1 tablespoon butter.
- Combine purée with buttermilk.
- Beat stick of butter with sugar in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time.
- Turn mixer off and use spatula to fold persimmon mixture into butter by hand.
- Sift dry ingredients together in separate bowl and fold thoroughly into wet ingredients, again by hand.
- Pour mixture into prepared pan. Set this pan into a larger one and fill bottom pan halfway up with hot water. Bake uncovered for at least 1 hour and 15 minutes. You will know it is done when pudding pulls away from sides of pan and is firm in center. A knife blade inserted into center should come out clean.
- Serve hot with fresh whipped cream. This keeps nicely, refrigerated, for 4 or 5 days and reheats well in microwave.
- from Chef Bill Smith Of Crook’s Corner, Chapel Hill, North Carolina