persimmon pudding with creme anglaise

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Persimmon Pudding

By , from the Culinate Kitchen collection
Serves 8 to 10
Total Time 1 hour


This old-fashioned dessert recipe came from a neighbor with a persimmon tree, via another neighbor who whipped it up and brought me a taste. The flavors are of late fall.

Like Edna Lewis’ version of Persimmon Pudding, this dessert is essentially a steamed, dense cake along the lines of a Christmas pudding. The instructions here call for a jury-rigged version of a pudding mold, but you could also use a snaplock pudding mold. Or simply follow the second set of cooking instructions and bake the pudding in a dish inside a water bath.


cups persimmon purée (the pulp of 3 very ripe Hachiya persimmons or 4 ripe Fuyu persimmons)
cups sugar
¾ cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs, beaten
cups flour
1 Tbsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ cup ground pecans
½ cup raisins
4 Tbsp. brandy (optional)


  1. Halve the persimmons. With a spoon, scrape the soft pulp from the skins. Mash the pulp with a fork or your fingers.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar, butter, and vanilla. Mix in the purée and the eggs.
  3. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; stir them into the butter mixture. Add the nuts, raisins, and brandy, if using.
  4. Cooking instructions, version 1: Butter a standard-size Bundt pan and fill it two-thirds full with batter. Cover tightly with foil. Place a cake rack on the bottom of a large stockpot; pour boiling water into the pot and set the Bundt pan in the stockpot so that the water comes two-thirds up the sides of the Bundt pan. Cover the pot and simmer very gently for 2½ hours, adding more water as needed. When the pudding is set, carefully remove the Bundt pan and let cool before removing pudding.
  5. Cooking instructions, version 2: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter an 8-by-12-inch baking dish. Scrape the batter into the dish and place it in a larger baking dish. Put the stacked dishes into the preheated oven and pour boiling water into the larger dish so that the water comes two-thirds up the sides of the inner baking dish. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the pudding is a deep brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out moist but clean.
  6. Serve with whipped cream, if you like, although a more traditional sauce would be Crème Anglaise or Whiskey Sauce.

This content is from the Culinate Kitchen collection.

There are 2 comments on this item
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50% recommend this recipe
1. by Addy on Dec 26, 2008 at 9:38 PM PST

This recipe worked out perfectly!
My bundt pan sat on top of a larger sauce pan and we just put the sauce pan cover on top (it was very helpful that the lid was clear - I could see the pudding setting up).
I had the water boiling more rapidly than suggested and it simply made the pudding cook in 1 hour rather than 2.5. Tho, I did take the whole kit and put it outside - left the bundt in the hot water to finish it off. I could see that it was finished by the fact that the top was flat and smooth and much darker than the raw batter.
Start by putting the EMPTY bundt pan in the larger pot and filling the large pot with water to get it 2/3 of the way to the top of the bundt pan - if you don’t do it in the beginning you’ll get stuck with a dangerous mess.
I also increased the amount of cinnamon and it was really really nice.
I made the Creme Anglaise linked at the bottom but instead of brandy I used Southern Comfort and it added a really nice orangy/whisky flavor that was very popular.

2. by anonymous on Jan 14, 2010 at 10:53 PM PST

I have several recipes for persimmon pudding in my cookbook collection, most of which required steaming. However, I came across one recipe that yielded a look and texture akin to what is pictured here, minus the boiling water (baked in a covered stoneware dish). It, too, had a hard sauce, but with rum instead of brandy or whisky. This required less effort, yet surprisingly still produced a moist, somewhat sticky underside and a thin layer of crunchy topping. I also baked persimmon cookies over the holidays for the first time, but noted that while they come out of the oven a brown shade like any other cookie, they have a tendency to turn an unappetizing shade of purple-green within 24 hours.

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