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Steamed Persimmon Pudding with Bourbon Whipped Cream

The creamy, custardy pulp of fully ripe Hachiya persimmons is honey-sweet and has an earthy, slightly savory quality. In this moist cake-like pudding, persimmons and fragrant spices come together to create a rich and comforting dessert.

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) plus 1 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing 
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbs. sugar 
  • 1/3 cup bourbon 
  • 1/2 cup dried currants 
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom 
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves 
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 
  • 1 orange 
  • 2 tsp. baking soda 
  • 3 ripe, soft Hachiya persimmons, halved and seeded 
  • 1 egg 
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • 2 cups sweetened whipped cream 

Directions:

Place a collapsible steamer insert in a stockpot wide and tall enough to fit a 1 1/2-quart fluted pudding mold. Fill the pot with enough water to reach the bottom of the steamer. Generously grease the inside of the pudding mold with butter. Sprinkle the bottom and sides with the 2 Tbs. sugar and shake the mold to coat evenly. Tap out the excess sugar.

In a small saucepan, bring the bourbon to a simmer. Add the currants, cover and remove from the heat.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and salt.

Finely grate the zest from the orange and add it to a food processor along with the 1 cup sugar. Squeeze 2 Tbs. orange juice into a small bowl. Stir in the baking soda and set aside. Process the sugar and orange zest until the sugar is fragrant and tinted orange, 10 to 15 seconds. Scoop the persimmon pulp into the processor. Add the egg and vanilla, process until smooth, then add the orange juice mixture and process to combine. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and whisk in the flour-spice mixture.

Place the stockpot on the stovetop and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Strain the currants, reserving the bourbon, and whisk them into the batter along with the melted butter. Transfer the batter to the prepared mold, snap on the cover and place the mold on the steamer insert. Reduce the heat so the water is at a simmer and cover the pot. Cook until a cake tester inserted into the pudding comes out clean, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours. Remove the mold from the pot, let cool for 10 minutes, then invert the pudding onto a platter and let cool completely.

To serve, whisk 2 to 3 Tbs. of the reserved bourbon into the whipped cream. Slice the pudding and serve with the bourbon whipped cream. Serves 8.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Desserts, by Raquel Pelzel (Oxmoor House, 2008).