It's persimmon season! If you don't know what they are, you most likely have at least seen them (and probably wondered what they are). Well, they are delicious. The most important thing to know about persimmons is that there are two kinds. The fuyu persimmons are squat, resembling a tomato and are sweet and edible at any ripeness, though are best when they have gotten mushy. The hachiya persimmons, however, are longer, like a roma tomato and are inedible (yes, really) until they are extremely mushy. You will likely not find persimmons at all ripe enough to enjoy fully, so regardless of which kind you get, let them sit out until they are mushy... the sweet ones less so, but the hachiya's must be so ripe and mushy that one would think they have gone bad.
This old-fashioned pudding is simply my most favorite thing I've made in recent memory. I can't get enough of it. The recipe is out of The Joy of Cooking. It is best served very hot with ice cold fresh cream. So simple, so old-fashioned and oh so very delicious.
Persimmon Buttermilk Pudding
makes a three-quart baking dish or eight one-cup ramekins
4-6 large ripe persimmons (you are going for 1-1/2 cups of purée)
2-1/2 cups buttermilk
2 oz melted butter
1-1/2 cup flour
1-1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
Spoon out the flesh of the persimmons into a blender and purée. You need 1-1/2 cups of purée. In a bowl, whisk the eggs until light and frothy. Whisk in the buttermilk, melted butter and persimmon purée. Sift the dry ingredients in and whisk until well combined. Divide the batter between eight buttered ramekins, or the three-quart buttered baking dish and bake at 400º until deeply well-browned and springs back when pressed lightly (about 45-50 minutes).
You can make the pudding several days ahead of when you want to serve it and reheat. I'll say again that it is best served with ice cold fresh cream poured over.