Sunday, October 22, 2017

Hodgepodge 358/365 - Persimmons

I try not to repeat subjects in this blog (though on a couple of occasions I simply forgot that I'd already covered the subject!), but persimmons don't count. So here's something a little different from what I wrote almost a year ago, on day 3 of this incarnation of my 365-day blog, when I went to a friend's house to help her pick persimmons (hachiya) and prepare them for drying, on their way to becoming hoshigaki
(干し柿). Today I went back and did it again, only this time I missed out on the picking part, and there were four of us at work, so we made a quick business of peeling and hanging about 100 persimmons.

Here are a few photos I took:

Kim on the left, Daniella, and the persimmon
queen herself, Peggy: red bucket is for the skin
peelings, which will go to feed the local deer;
white bucket is for the calyx trimmings,
which go in the trash

And here are some showing the process in Japan, where they dry the fruits outdoors, and the final product:

I love persimmon time of year, since that is one of the very few truly seasonal fruits and vegetables there are any more, what with agriculturalists all over the globe filling in our seasonal gaps. Asparagus in November? No problem! 

I'll be looking for persimmons in the market the next few weeks, and probably getting back to baking. (This is the one time of the year I do that, for the same reason: I love persimmony baked goods, their chewy texture.)

Here's a recipe I'll try (with ice cream):

Persimmon Pudding

Prep, 20 min.; cook, 55 min. 

1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups persimmon pulp
1 1/2 cups white sugar*
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
2 1/2 cups milk
4 Tb melted butter

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
2. In a mising bowl, combine persimmon pulp, baking soda, sugar, and eggs. Mix well.
3. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, milk, and melted butter. Stir to combine.
4. Pour into baking pan and bake in preheated oven for 55 minutes.** The pudding will rise but will fall when removed from oven.

* Recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups sugar, but commenters say that's too much. I prefer less sweet, so I will try 1 1/2 cups—or maybe even only 1. One can also add more cinnamon and vanilla

** If you stir the pudding every 15 minutes while baking, you won't get a crusty top and it will be less cakelike, more like a true pudding.

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