Saturday, December 15, 2012

CHRISTMAS PERSIMMON PUDDING

I know you've heard about Christmas Plum Puddings and Christmas Figgy Puddings but I'm not particularly fond of suet, along with raisins and currants in a cake.  There were never any plums in a plum pudding anyway.  In the 17th century, raisins were referred to as plums. Plum pudding is an English version of our fruit cake.  It was introduced in 1858 in a novel by Anthony Trollope and of course we see it in the movie versions of A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens.
I like figs and figgy pudding would be fine without the suet, but this is a delicious alternative for a festive Christmas pudding cake and persimmons are still available in some markets today.  I purchased mine at Pike Place Market, in Seattle but Whole Foods carries them too. You will need a decorative Christmas mold/mould that comes with a clip-on top.
This tastes very similar to an applesauce cake and I suspect you can make that cake in a Christmas mold too.  I have also made this with a lemon sauce drizzled on top but the confectioners' sugar looks so old fashioned.




3 medium ripe persimmons
½ cup granulated sugar
4 T unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
1 t pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups cake flour or all-purpose
1 t baking soda
½ t salt
2 t ground cinnamon
¼ t freshly ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves

Spray a decorative Christmas pudding mold that comes with a clip on top with vegetable oil or spread lightly with butter.

Peel the persimmons and mash, removing any black seeds.

In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until fluffy.  
Add the persimmon pulp and beat to combine. 
Beat in the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

Pour into the prepared pudding mold and clip on the top.

Place on a rack in a large pot and add boiling water halfway up the mold.
Cover the pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer slowly for 2 hours, adding boiling water, if needed to maintain level.

Remove mold from the pot and uncover pudding.  
The top should spring back when touched.
Cool for one hour; then carefully push a kitchen knife up and down the sides and in the middle to loosen the pudding. 
Invert on a plate or glass pedestal and decorate with confectioners’ sugar.