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The end of summer means persimmons and pawpaws here in wooded Southern Indiana! Persimmon pudding is a beloved regional specialty ~ try it as a nutritious dessert for your fall menu!
Persimmons are the edible fruit of a wild American tree in the ebony wood family. They are light yellow-orange to dark red-orange in color, darkening as they ripen. They are high in glucose, as sweet as dates when ripe, with balanced proteins. They have also been known for various medicinal and chemical uses.
NOTE: American persimmons are meant to be baked (or otherwise cooked, e.g., as part of a soup stock); you can eat them as a fresh fruit, but only at perfect ripeness. Please do not order these if you are expecting the large, firm Asian-type persimmons! No refunds because they are "mushy" ~ they are supposed to be!
Here is a great recipe for Traditional Indiana Persimmon Pudding:
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Stir together the persimmon pulp and eggs using a whisk. Stir in sugar. Combine the flour and baking soda; stir into the persimmon alternating with milk until smooth. Pour into a large greased crock or casserole dish. Drop dabs of butter on top.
3. Bake for 2 hours in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes. Pudding will be dark brown when finished. Serve hot or cold.