Earlier this week I was honored to do a Guest Post on the website of a cyber Gal Pal, Rebecca of Chow and Chatter. Rebecca and I collided on Twitter some time ago. She embodies the spirit of Social Media by my definition. A knowledgeable, warm reach parlaying her dietary knowledge and international savvy. Rebecca is a British ex pat amazingly juggling her work as a Social Media maven, Registered Dietician as well as being a Mom to a toddler and newborn. She never skips a beat. You can find her tweeting (Twitter ID: @chowandchatter) great links several times a day offering a window into international culinary happenings and recipes as well as stimulating thoughtful exchanges between ‘Tweeters’. I’ve spent an evening going through her Social Media tip videos on her website as well as her eBooks. She has developed her own recipe ‘app’ for smart phones as well. Rebecca really is a dynamo and I encourage you to pop over and check out her blog; it’s a treasure trove of information, recipes and interviews. I’m sharing an abbreviated version of the Guest Post here to both introduce Rebecca but share the vintage recipe with you as well.
The bonding between Rebecca and I truly crystallized earlier this fall over my obsessions of anything Anglophile or anything I can infuse in a jar basically. I became smitten with things like Hedgerow Gin and Sloe Gin, voraciously researching fruits of the hedgerow and what liquor I could make with them. Rebecca would throw me a bone when she found one in the form of any links with such recipes; I suspect both out of kindness and to watch my puppy-like antics when receiving a link for something like Wild Plum Gin Sorbet (which I made immediately).
When I would travel through the UK anytime around the holidays I’d always bring home a Christmas Pudding (and jarred Hard Sauce). Christmas Pudding is a bit like a souped up fruitcake equivalent for those in the U.S. It’s steeped in booze so literally can be kept for a year before eating. When I found a recipe for Persimmon Pudding with Hard Sauce in my Grandmother’s recipe box I knew I wanted to make it for this post. A bit of a nod to Rebecca’s UK heritage interwoven with my passion for all things vintage and seasonal.
I will admit both that I had no idea what to expect when making this and that I was thrilled with the outcome. Americans will associate the term ‘pudding’ with a creamy, gelatinous dessert but this is truly the form more of the UK experience. More like a dense cake, perfectly seasoned with holiday signature flavors without being ‘too much’. And let’s face it; anything with Hard Sauce can’t be beat.
PERSIMMON PUDDING with HARD SAUCE
The original recipes indicates to put the pudding in a mold to bake however I elected to use individual ramekins. If cooking in a mold, either solid or tubular, I would check the pudding at 30 minutes by sticking toothpick in (and check it comes out clean) and watching the browning on the exposed surface for doneness. If the toothpick is clean, it’s done. It does brown but should not over brown on the top. Slice and serve on a plate with hard sauce. Also the original recipe indicated to grease a mold. I did not grease the ramekins and had no issue; greasing the mold would probably be a good idea.
· 1 cup flour (I used gluten free flour)
· 1 cup sugar
· ¼ teaspoon salt
· 2 teaspoons baking soda
· 1 teaspoon cinnamon
· 1 cup peeled, seeded, mashed persimmon pulp (approximately 2-3 large persimmons)
· ½ cup milk
· 2 tablespoons butter, melted
· ½ teaspoon vanilla
· 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (I used a mix of the two and it was delicious)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Mix together (with mixer or by hand) flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.
3. To the dry ingredients above add the persimmon pulp, milk, butter; mix until well combined.
4. Stir in the vanilla and nuts to the mixture and fully combine.
5. Fill ramekins* 2/3 full and bake on a cookie sheet for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and top has begun to brown.
*I used 2-6 ounce and 4-4 ounce ramekins for this recipe
· ¼ pound (one stick) unsalted butter, melted
· 2 cups confectioner’s/powdered sugar
· ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
· 1 egg white, beaten
· ½ cup cream, whipped (I hand whisked the cream to ‘lift’ it but not to make it peak)
· 1 ‘jigger’ (ounce) of rum
Blend all ingredients and serve with the Persimmon Pudding.