What to do with 6 ripe persimmons?

Whenever I visit Jungle Jim's, a Cincinnati international market known as "a theme park of food", I make sure to hunt for a new fruit. After grabbing a few interesting specimens to try, I found a section that I had never noticed before: clearance fruit. Normally overripe fruit wouldn't be too exciting, but persimmons are best when super-ripe. I took home a six pack, but I didn't have a plan for them yet.

Clearance persimmons from Jungle Jims.

After a bit of googling, I settled on making an English style holiday pudding. Not being British, this was a dish I was only vaguely aware of. After reading about the dessert a bit on the internet, I had a case of what googling calls the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon. It was everywhere. The strongest example was when I went to see a Christman Carol again, I can't believe that the "pudding scene" had always been there, never stirring my brain to ask "wtf is this pudding?" before, I think I thought it was meat.

My recipe is based on:




1/2 c. unsalted butter
2.25 c. sugar [1]
6 very soft persimmons
1.5 c. whole milk
5 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 lemon


3 c. all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 whole freshly ground nutmeg
21 allspice berries
13 cloves [2]
3 segment of a star anise [3]
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda


1/2 c. brandy
1/3 c. sultanas (golden raisins)
1 c. pecans, coarsely chopped
1/3 c. finely chopped candied ginger
4oz chopped candied citron


2 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. brandy
2 T Powdered Sugar

[1]Yes, I know sugar is not actually wet.
[2]I didn't include cloves in the mine, but I thought it would be good addition.
[3]I originally only included one segment of anise.


Step 1 - Prepare the mold

Traditionally one would use an English pudding mold, I didn't have that so I buttered a large stainless steel mixing bowl. I used a stock pot as the boiler setting the mixing bowl on top. Add enough water to the stockpot to come halfway up the mold; to gauge depth, test this with an empty mold by pressing in into the water.

Step 2 - Prepare the dry ingredients

Sift flour, and add all "dry" ingredients to a bowl. Stir until evenly distributed.

Step 3 - Simmer the tasty bits

Toast pecans in a frying pan and add all "Simmered" ingredients. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand for 15 minutes, allowing time for fruit to soak up excess moisture and become tender.

Step 4 - Combine the wet stuff

Meanwhile, slice tops off persimmons. Note: Original recipe says to press the fruit through sieve to remove skin. This is hopeless with a normal strainer and it's not hard to just separate skins by hand. Scoop out flesh, discard skins. (you should have 2 3/4 cups persimmon puree). Whisk in milk

Cream butter and sugar; then add the rest of the "Wet" ingredients to the butter mixture. If you are using an electric mixer be sure to keep the bowl scraped.

Step 5 - Bring it all together

Using minimal mixing, fold in all of the dry ingredients over a few quick additions. While still partially unmixed dump in "simmered" mixture of pecans, raisins, ginger, etc. Fold all until just barely mixed. Pour into prepared mold and cover with lid.

The three mixures

The three mixures and the stockpot "double boiler".

Step 4 - Let it steam

Bring water in stockpot to a boil. I let this go ~8 hours because of the size, 6 probably would have been ok. Since it's being steamed it can really get overcooked unless it starts to dry out. Time really depends on shape of mold+pot and the size of the pudding. Use a toothpick or skewer and test that the center is no longer a batter before calling it done.

Pudding after steaming.

Pudding after it had finished cooking.

Step 5 - Serve with cream

Now we are ready to serve.

Soft peaks of brandy whipped cream

Whip the heavy cream and brandy topping to soft peaks.

Pudding served

Flip the pudding out onto a plate and cut. Serve with brandy cream sauce.