Persimmon Pudding is a thick and rich pudding cake with the sweet, fruity taste of real persimmons. These fruits range in color from light yellow to dark orange and look very much like tomatoes. Despite their appearance, persimmon has a texture similar to apricots and a sweet, honey-like taste.
The central ingredient of this pudding is a thick pulp, freshly scooped from a very ripe persimmon. This old-fashioned dessert is similar to pumpkin pie and works just as well for Thanksgiving dinner.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Persimmon Pulp (or Pureed Persimoon)
- Unsalted Butter
- Vanilla Extract
- All-purpose Flour
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Ground Cinnamon
- Chopped Walnuts
- Optional Whipped Cream: for serving
How to Make Persimmon Pudding Cake
1. In a medium bowl, add the persimmon pulp, sugar, eggs, butter, milk and vanilla. Mix until combined and set aside.
2. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, and salt.
3. Add dry ingredients gradually to the wet ingredients, mixing with a wooden spoon until fully incorporated. Then stir in the nuts.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.
5. Bake at 375°F for about 35-40 minutes or until puffed up and a cake tester (or toothpick) inserted into the middle comes out clean.
6. Allow it to cool, and cut into square pieces to serve.
Tips & Tricks
- Make sure your butter is softened. It’s ok if your butter is not fully dissolved when mixed with other wet ingredients.
- If you use fresh persimmons, let the fruit become very ripe before cooking.
- Its normal if the pudding will deflate somewhat after baking.
- Let the pudding cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting.
- Persimmon pudding keeps for up to 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.
Where Did Persimmon Pudding Originate?
Persimmon pudding is the state dish of Indiana. The recipe goes back over 150 years and is traditionally enjoyed at Thanksgiving or Christmas. Indiana is one of the largest producers of persimmon in the country.
What Does Persimmon Pudding Taste Like?
Traditional persimmon pudding has a thick, custardy texture similar to pumpkin pie filling. Some people use more flour for a more cake-like texture. A bite of this pudding brings the unmistakable taste of sweet persimmon and warm cinnamon.
Persimmon pudding is a delicious way to end Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. It’s delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, drizzled with maple syrup or topped with a dollop of whipped cream.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Get Persimmon Pulp?
Pulp is made using the puree of fresh persimmon fruit. It’s easy to make your own by cutting the fruit into chunks, removing seeds and blending in a food processor. Otherwise, you can purchase ready-made persimmon pulp from grocery stores..
Why Does Persimmon Pudding Turn Black?
Persimmon pudding is known to turn dark brown as it bakes. This is known as the browning reaction. It’s a chemical reaction between amino acids and sugars that gives food a dark brown appearance and rich flavor.
Should Persimmon Pudding Be Refrigerated?
If you’ve got leftover persimmon pudding, it’s best to store it in the refrigerator. While this dessert is traditionally served warm, many people prefer it cold. A quick zap in the microwave makes the pudding taste freshly baked all over again.
Can Persimmon Pudding Be Frozen?
You can freeze it after it’s cooled completely. It’ll last for up to 3 months in the freezer if you store it properly.
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Persimmon Pudding Cake Recipe
- 2 cups persimmon pulp (You'll need about 4 medium-sized riped persimmons)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened or melted
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
- whipped cream optional for serving
- Preheat oven to 375°F, setting the oven rack to the middle position. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, add the persimmon pulp, sugar, eggs, butter, milk and vanilla. Mix until combined and set aside. (It's ok if the butter is not completely dissolved if you use softened butter.)
- In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Working in intervals, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients at a time to the wet ingredients, mixing with a wooden spoon each time until fully incorporated. Then stir in the nuts. (The final consistency should resemble pumpkin pie filling.)
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.
- Bake until puffed up and a cake tester (or toothpick) inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 40 minutes.
- Cool for at least 15 minutes. The pudding will deflate somewhat but this is normal.
- Cut into square pieces to serve. Top with optional chopped walnuts and whipped cream.
- Individual Puddings: You can also bake the pudding in ramekins for individual servings. Reduce baking time by almost half (exact time will vary).
- Healthy Persimmon Pudding: Substitute a non-dairy butter or margarine for the butter and replace ¼ cup sugar with ¼ cup stevia/erythritol.
- Storage: Persimmon pudding keeps for 2-3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.