The apple of the Orient is our orange globe of fall to harken the holidays here in California. The neighborhoods are dotted with trees outfitted with the fetching pointed ovals. I can beg a few because most trees are so abundant and it is a much misunderstood old-fashioned fruit. You want the goopy Hachiya persimmon, which is not good eating raw at any point, for this recipe, not the crisp apple-like Fuyu, which is good in salads. You can freeze the ripe fruit whole or store the pulp in plastic storage containers, allowing persimmon pudding, bread, or cookies in the summer. I learned this recipe when I was cooking at the restaurant back in the 1970s and haven’t found another I like better. If someone says they don’t like persimmons, just serve them a slice of this spicy-sweet pud; they will love it.
Machine: Large (10-cup) rice cooker
Yield: Serves 8 to 10
- 3 to 4 very ripe Hachiya persimmons (jelly-like)
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 3 tablespoons Cognac
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cups chopped pecans
- 3/4 cup dark raisins or dried cherries
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
Set up the rice cooker for steaming by placing a small trivet or wire cooling rack in the bottom of the bowl. Fill the bowl 1/4 to 1/3 full of hot water, cover the bowl, plug in, and set the switch to the Cook position. If the water boils before you are ready to steam the pudding, flip the switch to the Keep Warm position. Generously grease or spray a 1.5 quart (6 cup) round melon-shaped tin pudding mold with clip-on lid with a butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray.
Remove the stems and skins from the persimmons (we slit them open and squeeze out the gooey pulp). Mash the pulp to make 1 to 1 1/4 cups.
In a large bowl, combine the pulp, sugar, melted butter, brandy, and eggs with a large whisk; beat until smooth. Switching to a large rubber spatula, stir in the flour cinnamon, salt, walnuts, raisins, and lemon juice; beat until combined. In a small bowl, combine the hot water and baking soda. Pour into the batter and stir until well mixed.
Scrape into the prepared mold, filling two-thirds full. Set the mold on the trivet or wire rack in the bottom of the cooker, making sure it is centered and not tipped. Cover and flip the switch back to the Cook position to bring back to a rolling boil, if necessary. Set a timer and steam for 1 hour and 10 minutes (70 minutes), checking a few times to be sure to not to let the water boil off.
Check the pudding, it should feel slightly firm to the touch, yet slightly moist. It will be puffed, rising to fill the mold, and a cake tester will come out clean. Unplug machine to turn off. Carefully remove from the steamer with oven mitts to a wire rack and remove the cover. Let stand a few minutes, then turn upside down to unmold onto the rack or serving plate.
Serve still warm, cut in wedges, or at room temperature, with spoonfuls of unctuous brandy sauce.
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup hot melted butter
- 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
- Dash of salt
- 2 teaspoons each Cognac and Amaretto
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup cold heavy cream, whipped
Beat the egg until light with an electric mixer. On low speed, drizzle in the hot melted butter, which will cook the egg; beat on medium-high for 15 seconds to thicken. Beat in the sugar, salt, Cognac, and vanilla extract, then fold in the whipped cream. Refrigerate in a covered container up to 2 hours before serving. Stir gently with a whisk, if necessary, before serving.
Excerpted from The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook, by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann. (c) 2002, used by permission from the Harvard Common Press.
Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2016
Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.