Steamed Persimmon Pudding

8 to 12 Serves

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.


  • 4 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for mold

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • ¼ teaspoon coarse salt

  • ¼ cup Calvados or other brandy

  • ¼ cup sultanas (golden raisins)

  • 3 to 4 very soft hachiya persimmons

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 1 ½ cups sugar

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda, dissolved in 1 ½ tablespoons hot water

  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped

  • ¼ 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.

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