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Persimmon Pudding

Your guests will be more than impressed when you serve up these desserts!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings.
Author: The Bojon Gourmet

Ingredients

Persimmon Pudding

  • 3/4 cup persimmon puree, from about 3 medium dead-ripe hachiya persimmons (see headnote)
  • 3/4 cup half and half , (or 1/2 cup whole milk and 1/4 heavy cream)
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 cinnamon stick (3")
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, plus sugar for coating the ramekins
  • 1 tablespoon brandy or whiskey
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For serving

  • creme anglaise (recipe below)
  • 2 fuyu persimmons, diced

Crème Anglaise (Makes 1 generous cup, or 6 servings)

  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/4 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 2 egg yolks
  • pinch salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Instructions

Persimmon Pudding

  • In a small pot, heat the half and half with the vanilla seeds and pod and the cinnamon stick until steaming, swirling occasionally. Cover and steep while you prepare the ramekins and pudding batter.
  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350º. Brush 6 six-ounce ramekins with some of the melted butter and coat with sugar. Set in a roasting pan for easy maneuvering.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, brandy and persimmon puree. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, then whisk into the persimmon mixture until completely smooth. Remove the vanilla pod and cinnamon stick from the milk, squeezing any flavored milk out of them, then gradually whisk the warm milk into the persimmon mixture. Re-warm the butter if necessary, and whisk into the batter until combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared ramekins, filling them about 3/4 of the way full. Bake the puddings until puffed, deeply golden, and firmly wobbly when jiggled, about 40 minutes (they will rise above the rims like souffles.) Let cool for about 20 minutes; the puddings will fall. Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with a pour of creme anglaise and diced fuyu persimmon.
  • The puddings will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to several days. Re-warm in a 300º oven for about 10 minutes before serving.

Crème Anglaise

  • In a small pot, heat the half and half with the vanilla until steaming, swirling occasionally. Cover and steep 20 minutes.
  • Place a fine mesh sieve over a metal bowl and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the yolks, salt and sugar until well combined. Reheat the milk until steaming, then dribble into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the pan, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a heat-proof spatula or wooden spoon, until the mixture reaches 175º and thickens to the consistency of heavy cream, 3 - 5 minutes.
  • Immediately pour the mixture through the strainer and into the bowl to stop the cooking. Place the bowl in an ice bath, stirring the custard occasionally, until well-chilled.
  • Store the creme anglaise in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Notes

Adapted loosely from Chez Panisse Fruit (recipe also found in Chez Panisse Desserts).
Persimmons can take a week or more to ripen, so plan ahead if you wish make this for a special occasion; they should feel 'like water balloons ready to burst' in the words of David Lebovitz.
To make the persimmon puree, slice the ripe hachiyas in half, scoop out the flesh, squeezing any extra goop from the skins, and work through a strainer or food mill to smooth. The puree can be stored in the refrigerator for up to several days, or frozen for several months.
Place ripe persimmons that you're not ready to use in the fridge to stop the ripening process while you wait for the others to catch up, if necessary.
If you don't have individual ramekins, bake this pudding in one large (2 quart) gratin dish. 
The freshly diced fuyus beautifully complement the rich pudding and perfumed crème anglaise; lacking fuyus, make a little extra hachiya puree (say, 6 tablespoons) and spoon it over the fallen puddings with the anglaise.
Nutritional values are based on one of six servings.

Nutrition

Calories: 312kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 165mg | Sodium: 154mg | Potassium: 226mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 5415IU | Vitamin C: 2.1mg | Calcium: 121mg | Iron: 1.4mg
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