Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Persimmon Pudding with Toffee Sauce

At this time of year persimmons are dangling on bare tree branches, like lanterns or brilliant pendant earrings. I've had the pleasure of eating two types of persimmons, the squatter, crispy type ("Fuyu") and the heart-shaped, soft-fleshed type ("Hachiya").

A Hachiya persimmon. My parents ripen them on the windowsill, bottoms up.

The sweet bounty of persimmons in winter sometimes poses a conundrum - what to do with all these orange beauties ripening into softness at the same time? Since only my dad and I eat the Hachiya persimmon (my mom ONLY eats crisp fruit, so no papayas, bananas, or Hachiyas for her), something had to be done about all our extra ripe persimmons. Hence this recipe, which I baked for our family Christmas Eve dinner. Persimmons really do not have a strong flavor (except for their tannins, and that is only when they're not fully ripe) so this recipe yields a very English plummy-pudding cake. With toffee sauce drizzled on top, it's a sweet, festive end to a holiday meal.

For the Pudding

2 Cups Persimmon Pulp
1 3/4 Cups Sugar
2 Egg
4 Tbs. Melted Butter
2 Cup Milk
2 Cup Flour
3 Tsp. Baking Soda
1 Tsp. Cinnamon
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Cup Golden Raisins
3/4 Cup Chopped Pitted Dates
1 Cup Nuts

Preheat oven to 325 degees. Grease a bundt pan.
Mix sugar, pulp, egg, melted butter and milk.
In separate bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
Gradually add pulp mixture, mixing well.
Dust raisins, dates, and nuts with flour to keep them from sinking to bottom; add them to mixture.
Pour into bundt pan and bake at 325 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes.

For the Sauce

2 Cups Brown Sugar
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1/2 Cup Butter (1 stick)
1/4 Tsp. Salt

Combine ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until mixture is beginning to caramelize. Remove from heat and cool. Drizzle lavishly over pudding.

This would be lovely served with vanilla ice-cream!

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