To Share Our Family Holiday Tradition with You—
The story I remember is that my mom got this recipe from her mother, Jennie Adelia Long, who had gotten it in turn from her mother, another remarkable woman my mom called "Grandma Johnson", and whom she remembered as always being surrounded by the faint scent of lavender water from her pristine clean and ironed white apron. (Something that even as a young girl struck my mom as incredibly elegant for someone needing to meet all the daily demands in that hardworking rural life.) I believe this special occasion pudding recipe had originally come from even earlier generations of the English side of our family. And, yes, it is steamed, not baked, but the creamy sauce is soft instead of hard. Rest assured that you can eat this pudding hot, cooled or reheated days later. And eat it we did. It wouldn't have been Christmas without it.
"Persimmon Pudding with Buttercream Sauce", continued:
Either palates or points of view change, but after having devoured this holiday dessert every year since I was a little girl myself, only in recent history did I finally understand how my husband could possibly even consider having a piece without the sauce. It is actually quite delicious, and certainly less rich, allowing the persimmon fruit flavor to come forward. Makes a lovely afternoon tea treat, speaking of English traditions. Or if you’d still like a little topping, but don’t want the sweetness of the Buttercream Sauce (which is also yummy spooned cold out of the fridge), try a dollop of lemon curd or barely sweetened whipped cream (with vanilla and/or rum). Just try it!
I can now imagine you and yours becoming yet another chapter in the story of this handed down and around holiday family favorite recipe. And if you're trying to come up with meaningful ideas, take note that it makes a great homemade gift for your extended family of dear friends as well.
Thanks, Mom and Grannie and Great-Grandma Johnson! Your gift lives on. (We've just added some demon rum.)
Casual Recipe for Persimmon Pudding
3 cups white sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Tb. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 Tb. vanilla extract
3 Tb. melted butter
3 cups pureed fully ripe hachiya persimmon pulp
butter and sugar for coating the pan
3-quart bundt pan and a lidded pot big enough to hold it with at least a 1"-high rack or trivet inside on the bottom.
- Generously coat the inside of the bundt pan with soft butter and then sugar. Cut a piece of baking parchment and aluminum foil large enough to cover the top and extend several inches all around.
- Add almost an inch of water to the pot and bring it to the boil later before you insert the pudding.
- In a large mixing bowl stir all the dry ingredients toegther.
- In another bowl beat together the eggs, milk and vanilla. Add them to the dry ingredients, stirring just to mix.
- Stir in the melted butter and then the persimmon puree. Don't overmix.
- Pour into the bundt pan.
- Cover with the parchment and then the aluminum foil; tie around with string to tightly secure.
- Without tipping, insert in the pot to rest on the rack over (not in) boiling water. Cover tightly.
- Leave the heat on high until steam starts escaping around the lid, then immediately reduce to simmer for about 2 hours or until the pudding has risen in the center and springs back when lightly pressed. It will be very moist but not soggy.
- Remove to a cooling rack, take off the covers and let rest 15-30 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate.
- Serve warm or cooled.
NOTE: You can make the pudding days in advance, unmold, then butter and sugar the cleaned bundt pan to fit back over the completely cooled pudding; cover and store in a cool room. Then later reheat in the pot on the rack over boiling water for about 20 minutes.
Casual Recipe for Buttercream Sauce
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup white sugar
1 egg yolk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1-2 Tb. dark rum (optional)
- In a heavy enameled or stainless steel saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and sugar together.
- Whisk the yolk and cream together, then whisk them into the butter-sugar saucepan and turn the heat down to low.
- Simmer, watching carefully and whisking periodically, until the sauce is completely smooth and a little thicker. Don't let it boil or it will curdle.
- Take off the heat to stir in the vanilla and optional rum.
- Serve warm. [Can cool and store in the fridge to gently reheat later.]
Wishing you joy. Now pass the sauce, please.
Bon Appetit! Kay