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Steamed Persimmon Pudding


Two kinds of persimmons are recruited for steamed pudding; soft, ripe hachiyas are used in the batter, and oven-dried slices of fuyu -- resembling orange flowers -- form a ring around the dessert. The pudding is full of golden raisins, pecans, and candied ginger and warmed by brandy's sweet heat.

  • Yield: Serves 8 to 12

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2006


  • 4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for mold
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup Calvados or other brandy
  • 1/4 cup sultanas (golden raisins)
  • 3 to 4 very soft hachiya persimmons
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, dissolved in 1 1/2 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger
  • Oven-Dried Persimmon Slices, for garnish
  • Calvados Cream, for serving


  1. Butter a 12-cup pudding mold. Fill a large pot fitted with a steamer insert with enough water to come halfway up mold (test this with an empty mold); set aside. Sift flour, spices, and salt in a bowl; set aside. Put Calvados and sultanas into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat; let stand 15 minutes. Drain; discard liquid. Set raisins aside.

  2. Meanwhile, slice tops off persimmons. Scoop out flesh, and press through a sieve into a bowl, discarding skins (you should have 1 1/2 cups persimmon puree). Whisk in milk; set aside.

  3. Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs, vanilla, and lemon juice. Add persimmon mixture in 2 batches, scraping down sides of bowl after each addition. Mix in baking soda mixture. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in pecans, sultanas, and ginger. Pour into prepared mold; cover with buttered parchment and lid.

  4. Bring water in prepared pot to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer. Carefully lower mold into steamer. Cover pot, and steam until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, 3 to 3 1/2 hours, checking occasionally to make sure water level is maintained (add hot water as needed).

  5. Transfer mold to a wire rack; remove lid and parchment. Let cool 15 minutes. Unmold pudding onto a plate, and cut into slices. Serve with persimmon slices and Calvados cream.

Cook's Notes

We steamed our pudding in an antique metal pudding mold with a fitted lid. A ceramic pudding basin or mixing bowl, covered tightly with buttered parchment paper then with foil, will also work.

Reviews Add a comment

  • sallystcla5161611
    23 JUL, 2017
    Fabulous pudding: my discerning family loved it! I left out the pecans (forgot to grab them from the supermarket); added slightly more ginger. I used softish fuyu, and mashed them with a potato masher to get the required consistency. I also used the family's ancient metal steam pudding basin with fitted lid - It wouldn't take all the mixture, so I poured the remainder into a muffin tin, and baked 4 large muffins in the oven. The coarse salt I used added little pockets of sharp, salty taste - which was brilliant, like salted caramel chocolate - rather than the overall, bland no-taste that salt usually offers. I love this recipe, and will use it often.
  • ida96
    7 JUN, 2015
    Why does this recipe specify a type of persimmon? The supermarket I shop at (in New Zealand) offers one persimmon type -- fuyu -- so I must use that or forget it.
  • question
    15 DEC, 2014
    There are two things I don't understand about this recipe. First, if you have covered the pudding mold with parchment paper and foil, how do you insert a cake tester as instructed? Second, if the pudding mold is sitting in the steamer insert in the pot, how will you be able to see the water level to see whether it stays at the right level, as the instructions say you should? If anyone can help explain these two things to me I would greatly appreciate it. I am going to try and make this soon.
  • samIam2
    24 NOV, 2007
    After losing my grandmother's recipe for persimmon pudding that I've eaten every year of my life for Thanksgiving, I found this one and absolutely love it. One caveat - the amount of butter called for in the recipe is not enough to whip with the sugar. I've modified the recipe and found that one stick (1/ 2 cup) works well. I plan to try reducing the sugar and butter a bit the next time I try it.