Persimmon Pudding Cake is rich and sweet. Its flavor comes mostly from Hachiya persimmons, along with a bit of sugar, vanilla, raisins, and pecans.
Leafing through my recipe collection the other day, I came across this steamed persimmon pudding. It’s a festive dessert to make during persimmon season.
What is persimmon pudding?
This persimmon pudding recipe is an English-style steamed pudding. It is actually more like a moist cake than the milky, custardy pudding we Americans are used to. (Think of Dickens and Shakespeare nibbling on a fruity spotted dick, if that helps set the scene.)
This particular dessert is delicious by itself, but even better when drizzled with a sweet, tart lemon sauce. Or top it with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream.
What is the difference between Hachiya and Fuyu persimmons?
There are two common types of persimmons–Fuyu and Hachiya–and they are quite different. They differ greatly in both flavor and texture, so you can’t swap them out in recipes.
Fuyu persimmons are similar in shape to a tomato, short and flattish. They are ripe when they are a bright orange color but still crisp, like an apple.
Although you can eat the skin if it is thin enough, I usually peel them before eating.
I love fuyus in both savory salads and fruit salads. I also love to eat them plain as a snack, the same way I would eat an apple.
Hachiya persimmons are the ones you want for this recipe. They are larger than fuyus and more elongated. They are ready to eat when they are very soft.
The peel of a Hachiya persimmon is edible, but like the underripe fruit, it may still contain a high concentration of tannins even when ripe. So you can eat it, but you may not want to. Of course, this is up to you. Taste one and see what you think.
How do you know when they are ripe?
Note that eating an underripe Hachiya persimmon can be an extremely unpleasant experience. The underripe fruit is full of astringent tannins, which make for an awful bite.
Wait until your Hachiya persimmons are so ripe that they have gone soft and squishy. That’s exactly how you want them. By then the fruit will be flavorful, delicately sweet, and not at all tannic.
You can pick Hachiya persimmons in the early fall, when the fruit is bright orange, but still firm like an apple. Set them in a cool, dry spot in your house and let them ripen at room temperature. They may take a week or even two or three to ripen up, but the wait will be worth it.
When Hachiya persimmons are ripe enough, though, you don’t even really need to peel them. Just split them open and scoop out the soft persimmon pulp with a spoon. This soft, sweet pulp is great for baking.
If you have an abundance of ripe Hachiya persimmons, scoop out the flesh and freeze it in resealable plastic bags. You’ll be able to use the thawed fruit to make cakes and cookies all year round.
How do you make a steamed pudding?
Honestly, the name makes it sound more complicated as it is. Really it is simply a moist cake that uses a bain-marie or water bath for baking.
The recipe calls for making what is essentially a very moist cake batter. Put the batter in bowl or mold, cover, and place it inside a larger pot. Add water to the larger pot to come halfway up the sides of the cake bowl or mold. Then just simply cover and bake.
More great dessert recipes you’ll love
If you love English style desserts, you should try Sticky Toffee Pudding. Honey Cakes are moist and a perfect sweet treat with a cup of tea.
More Persimmon recipes to try
Steamed Persimmon Pudding
For the Steamed Pudding:
- 2 ripe Hachiya persimmons peeled and chopped
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons hot water
- 1 cup flour
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ cup chopped raisins
- ½ cup chopped pecans or other nuts
For the Lemon Sauce:
- 6 tablespoons butter ¾ stick
- ¾ cup lemon juice from about 4-6 lemons
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 egg beaten
For the Steamed Pudding:
- Preheat oven to 250°F and butter or oil a steamed pudding mold (or a 6-cup glass, ceramic, or metal bowl).
- In a blender or food processor, puree the persimmons, sugar, vanilla, and water.
- Mix with the flour, salt, baking soda, raisins, and nuts.
- Transfer batter to the prepared mold or bowl, and cover with a lid or plate. Place mold inside a deep, wide, oven-safe pot and fill the pot with water to about halfway up the mold.
- Bring the pot of water, with covered mold inside, to a boil on the stovetop over high heat.
- Cover pot and transfer to preheated oven. Bake until pudding is firm to the touch (2 t0 3 hours), and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out relatively clean—it doesn't need to be totally dry, but you don't want it too gooey either.
- Unmold the steamed pudding onto a serving platter and drizzle with an optional lemon sauce.
For the Lemon Sauce:
- Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat, stirring regularly to prevent burning.
- Add lemon juice in a slow stream, whisking well.
- Stir in sugar.
- Before the sauce gets too hot, pour a little bit of it into a dish along with your beaten egg, stirring well. Add a little more sauce to the egg and stir well again. (This step warms the egg slowly, preventing it from poaching in the hot liquid and adding unwanted bits of cooked egg to your sauce.)
- Return saucepan to the stovetop and add egg, stirring frequently until the sauce has thickened—about 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the width of your pan.
4 thoughts on “Steamed Persimmon Pudding with Lemon Sauce”
I remember when you made this a long time ago. Mouth watering!! Thanks for reminding me of it.
That looks absolutely delicious! It’s much prettier and more festive looking as you have it cooked in a bowl. My mom always cooked hers in a bread loaf pan – still yummy though. Now to find some persimmons.
Let me know how it comes out! I’ll be curious to hear how you like the recipe, especially since you apparently have close personal experience with this dish.
Tried it! It was so rich and delicious