i didn't even know what the hell these things were until i moved to indiana. hoosiers are big on making pulp from the persimmon and transforming it into delicious pudding. i have an aversion to bread puddings, so i shied away for several years. i finally tasted some a few thanksgivings ago and was hooked! persimmons are technically berries, and originated in china and other asian countries. the indiana variety are really small about the size of a gumball. the caliornia variety that i've purchased in the store are the size of my fist and REALLY expensive--$1.50 each! i've found that they don't have a dominant flavor, they just taste like sweet goo. NOTE: persimmons should be processed or eaten once soft, not hard or you'll be gettin' a huge mouth of alum like flavor. lucky for me, my neighbor has a couple of trees and has given me permission to grab as many as i can.
the pulping process is tedious. hard core foodies usually own a food mill, but i don't--so i use a small fine mesh strainer and wire wisk to grind the berries into said pulp. the indiana variety has a TON of seeds, so sorting the seeds from the pulp is what makes these babies such a pain in the ass. once finished, the pulp has the consistency of an egg, so i'm wondering if it could be used as a vegan egg in baking instead of using a banana. i don't mind using bananas, occasionally i'd like my baked goods to not have that dominating banana flavor. i'll have to try it! anyway, here's the recipe for the persimmon pudding that i LOVE. of course i've given it a vegan make over! food porn pic is on the "yum kippur" entry from a few days ago:
Persimmon Pudding- Originally from Marty Connerly of Rush, Cty. IN, Veganized by Jen Molica
preheat your oven to 325 and spray a 13x9 pan with cooking spray.
water mixture: combine the following ingredients in the baking pan
1 1/2 c turbinado
1 T molasses
2/3 stick of Earth Balance
1 c boiling water
place the pan in oven and allow the mixture to melt and get really bubbly. leave pan in oven while preparing batter.
batter mixture: combine ingredients in a large mixing bowl
1 c turbinado
2 "eggs"- i used one large overripe banana
3 t baking powder
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 c soy milk (i'm sure you could use rice milk or a nut milk)
2 c ww pastry flour
1 c persimmon pulp (i used used both indiana and california varieties, either will work)
1/3 stick of earth balance
2 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1/2 t. nutmeg
mix batter ingredients thoroughly. take the baking pan out of the oven and pour the batter over the water mixture. DO NOT STIR. the batter will be surrounded by the glaze and eventually soak in during baking making it all really deliciously gooey.
bake for one hour at 325. serve warm with a scoop of vanilla soy delicious if you please.
pictured below are the berries and the pulp.