Sunday, February 28, 2016

Salt and Wind: Spiced Persimmon Pudding

So, apparently I have too much food in my freezer.  So sayeth my mother.  I thought that was actually a good thing, having food saved up, ready for when you need it.  But then again, she does have a point.  I have a habit of squirreling away food that looks interesting, and I fully intend on cooking it...someday.  So I'm attempting to clean out the full freezer (to of course make room for new interesting things).  And one of the first things I laid my eyes on was my final package of persimmon puree from back in the fall when I went wild persimmon picking.  And I knew exactly what I wanted to make with it.  A soft-ish cake, full of delicious spices, best served with whipped cream.

Spiced Persimmon Pudding
From Salt and Wind blog

2 cups pureed persimmon pulp, from 6 to 7 very ripe Hachiya persimmons
1¾ cup all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon packed orange zest
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and briefly cooled, plus more for coating the baking dish
¼ cup Calvados brandy
Ice cream, whipped cream, or yogurt, for garnish (optional)
Roughly chopped toasted hazelnuts, for garnish (optional)

Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, and orange zest in a large bowl to aerate and break up any lumps; set aside. Coat a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with butter and set aside.

Combine the persimmon pulp, half-and-half, brown sugar, and eggs in a large bowl and whisk until evenly blended. Add the melted butter and brandy and whisk until just incorporated. Stir in the flour mixture in four parts, letting the flour incorporate before adding the next part and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary until the flour is totally incorporated.

Turn the batter into the prepared dish and bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with toasted hazelnuts and ice cream, yogurt, or whipped cream.

Makes 10 to 12 servings

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