If you were a kid growing up in the south and wandering around in the woods and / or swamps the way I did, there’s no doubt that you came across those shiny, orange colored, berry looking things on a tree with almost no leaves.
Know which ones I’m talking about?
And, no doubt, if your dad or Grandpa was with ya, he pulled one of ’em offa the tree and said, “Here ya are. Take a bite. They’re good eatin’!”
And, since you trusted your dad or Grandpa to know that it wasn’t poison, you wiped it around on your pants leg and took a big ol’ bite.
And, for just a second, you wondered what was so funny that your dad or Grandpa was bent over laughing.
Then, IT HIT YOU! It was like your jaws drew up, your lips puckered, your eyes watered and you sure as heck weren’t laughing, even if you could!
Cruel joke on you but great fun for the oldsters!
Then, your dad or Grandpa, would bend over and pick one that looked all but rotten off the ground, pop it in his mouth, chew a little bit and spit out the waste.
Hey, what’s up with that?
Joke was definitely at your expense but for those who know, those almost rotten looking persimmons are ripe and ready to eat or make some good tastin’ stuff.
Like this award winning PERSIMMON PUDDING from a recipe by Eva Powell.
Eva Powell, a former elementary-school librarian in Mitchell, Indiana, has won the town’s pudding contest five times with her recipe for persimmon pudding with a crispy, cake-like crust.
(I know she’s not from South of the Mason Dixon, but you can’t pass up an award winning recipe, now, can you?)
Pulp from enough halved ripe persimmons to make 2 cups (about 5 hachiyas)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 1⁄2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1⁄2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1⁄4 cup heavy cream
4 tbsp. butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350°. Put pulp and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Mix well. Beat in eggs. Put buttermilk and baking soda into a small bowl, and stir. Add to pulp, and mix well.
Sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt into a medium bowl. Gradually add to pulp, stirring until well combined. Add heavy cream, and mix well.
Grease a 9” X 13” baking dish with some of the butter. Stir remaining butter into batter.
Pour batter into dish. Bake until dark brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Set aside to cool. Serve with whipped cream, if you like.
Note: If you don’t know how to pulp a persimmon, use a ricer or colander and squash ’em!
You might have to strain the pulp through a screen or cloth to make sure to remove all the seeds.