While we live in the Pacific Northwest now, both Teri and Kori have lived in various parts of the U.S. (and beyond, in Teri’s case). One of Kori’s oldest and dearest friends lives in the heartland of the Midwest (Indiana) where they met when their now-grown kids were starting preschool! This recipe comes from Wendy’s family treasures and we are so grateful she shared it with us; it inspired us to head out on a frosty November day to see what we could do with our persimmon tree!
Every year, we promise ourselves that we are going to learn more about what to do with the gorgeous little orange fruits that grow on our persimmon tree. The fact is that they are ripe long after we’ve put the garden to bed and they grow so high up on the thin branches, it is a bit daunting to figure out how to harvest. The squirrels love them, as do the chickens, and our honeybees romped in their blossoms this past mid-spring, but we decided this year we’d make them into people food too!
Since persimmons are a big deal in the mid-West, Wendy was a good source of recipes and lore. Wendy suggested spreading a tarp down on the ground and then shaking the tree so the ripe fruit would drop. Well, our tree is too thick and sturdy to really shake, so we used a long-handled rake to reach up and shake the branches until the fruit fell…
With quite the sloppy plop! We had to fend off the chickens who thought surely these tasty morsels were all for them as we gathered them up in a colander.
Making the Pulp…
We took the colander full of smushy persimmons in and washed it well, removing stems and twigs and pressed it through a sieve. This took a little while, but we ended up with this wonderful, heady-scented orange pulp and we were finally ready to prepare the recipe…
Great Grandma Della’s Persimmon Pudding
2 cups persimmon pulp
1 1/2 cup sugar (we used brown sugar)
1 1/2 cup half-and-half
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon Raggedy Hen Farm Baking Spice Blend OR
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix pulp, sugar, cream, and eggs. Sift dry ingredients and add. Melt butter and add this last. Mix well and pour into a lightly buttered baking dish or cake pan…
Bake for 45 minutes to an hour. This makes a super moist, dense, old-fashioned “pudding” which is like a very dense cake. Once cooled it can be cut into squares and served with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.
And, in the end, the chickens got the remaining smushy pulp after all!