Persimmon Pudding Recipe

Persimmon puree, apricot jam, butter and spices create a gorgeous pudding that will fill your house with the scents of the season.

The Beautiful Edible Garden - persimmon

The Beautiful Edible Garden - persimmon

If you time it just right — and beat the raccoons to the harvest — persimmons make a perfect pudding.

If you time it just right — and beat the raccoons to the harvest — persimmons make a perfect pudding.

"Wild, native persimmons are plum-sized fruits that ripen around December. Unripe persimmons are too tart to eat. But if you're patient enough to wait until a russet color blushes through the fruit, and you're lucky enough to catch the windfall, the reward is sweet. The real trick is getting to them before the raccoons and possums do, which you must do for this recipe to reach its potential. If wild persimmons aren't an option, buy the Hachiya variety." —From The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook, edited by Sara Roahen and John T. Edge

Persimmon Pudding

Courtesy of Karen Barker of Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Makes 10 servings

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 7 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup plus 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups half-and-half
  • 1 ½ cups strained persimmon puree (see note)*
  • 2 tablespoons apricot jam

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch round cake pan or a 9-by-9-inch baking pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and butter the paper. 

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt in a bowl. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl several times. Alternately, add the sifted flour mixture and the half-and-half. Add the persimmon puree and the apricot jam. Mix to blend. 

Put the mixture into the prepared pan and place the pan in a water bath. Bake until the pudding is firm and golden brown, about 70 minutes. When tested with a toothpick, the pudding should be moist, but not wet. Remove from the oven and cool for 30 minutes. Turn out into a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and invert onto a service platter. Serve warm. This can be made 1 day ahead and reheated. 

*Note: To extract the persimmon pulp, discard the caps and stems from the fruit. Cut the fruit in halves or quarters and run them through a food mill or press them through a mesh sieve with your fingers or a rubber spatula, letting the smooth pulp fall into a bowl. Discard the skins and large seeds.