Persimmon Pudding (En Sous Vide)

posted in: Cooking, Sweet | 41

The sleeper hit of Thanksgiving were these sultry persimmon puddings. Really they were more like persimmon panna cotta’s since they were so slippery, luscious and texturally succulent. Many of my more fortunate friends across the globe are swimming in persimmons right now. I am not. This is a travesty I would like to correct at some point in my life, but I’ve been told there is little hope if I continue to reside in Seattle.

Persimmons, like kumquats this time of year, mostly grace the gardens of my friends in more Southerly climes, much to my chagrin. I am willing to perform a trade, if you are reading this. I can bottle rainwater for you in exchange for a fat sack of bulging persimmon goodness. Ok ok, I am being bad and not at all heeding my locavore credo. Sue me- trading posts existed in ye olde West, I’ll see you a persimmon and raise you a pine nut, you crazy tribal beeyotch!

into the water bath they go

The spoon sex that happens when you put persimmon pudding to your lips can’t possibly happen with any other food- even the ones that begin with the letter P. Did you know that the most lascivious foods are brought to us by the letter P? Just ask Sesame Street. Pomegranates, pea shoots, pears, prosciutto, and pie- still wanna argue? So it’s only natural that persimmon pudding, with its double whammy alliteration, ups the ante on the P-style fun bags, and here’s why.

ready to come out

You may not think about it directly, but every time you take a bite there are quite a few factors at play. First, there is smell. Then temperature. Next invariably is texture. These all contribute to a greater factor we know as taste. Some of us are more in tune than others to various tastes, textures, smells, and temperatures. There is, of course, the age-old crunchy versus creamy debate. Personally I like things that deliberately challenge the palate to think outside the tongue, and this dessert does that, albeit in a very unassuming way.

I am fortunate to be able to cook these little love cups sous vide, however a water bath in a low oven would probably work fine too. In terms of ingredients, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. While I do, on occasion write down ingredient lists for things I invent, more often than not I toss in a little bit of this, taste, then toss in a little bit of that, taste, and wrap it up in a whole lotta love. The things that turn out best tend to be the ones I’m dying to make, the ones that have a little planning, but a lot of passion behind them.

They are the creations I put other things on hold for- yes, the parsnip puree needed to be completed and I wasn’t even planning to bring these puddings to actual Thanksgiving dinner, and yet I set everything aside to pursue a notion of the heart. I recorded some basic measurements, but that will never be enough to replicate a recipe. The touch of superior taste comes from the indiscernible added fervor that gives an edge to the highest level of precision. To cook is to love food. To understand food. To use chemistry and science for the greater good of providing pleasure. These persimmon puddings are the ultimate example of the collision between food, love and science.

Persimmon Pudding

15 minutes active time, 1.5 hours inactive

Serves 8

  • 4 pureed Fuyu Persimmons
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ c cream
  • ½ c whole milk
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 c sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp freshly-grated ginger
  • ¼ tsp freshly-grated nutmeg
  • Pinch kosher salt
  1. Heat a waterbath to 180° (alternatively, you can place a cake pan with an inch of water in a low temperature oven and cook these using bain marie method).  Pass the persimmon puree through a mesh strainer in order to remove the sinewy bits.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into 8 individual portion ramekins and cover each tightly with cling film.
  3. Place the ramekins in the sous vide water bath or in the bain marie. If you are cooking en sous vide, cook until just set and cling film has bubbled up taut, like in the photo. This takes approximately 1.5 hours, but you can always test by removing a ramekin and jiggling it a little to see if it’s firm. (For bain marie-style, do the same, but likely it will take much less time, perhaps a half hour.)
  4. Once the puddings are set, invert them onto a serving platter. I serve mine with a generous helping of whipped cream.
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41 Responses

  1. I read all your articles! Thanks for all the interesting information.

  2. Forgive me for saying, but for someone who cooks sous vide (i.e. precision cooking) your recipe is very inexact. 4 persimmons… how many grams? The liquids are specified in cups, but depending on the size of the persimmons and how much you are able to purée from them, the liquid amounts would have to be adjusted or you’ll end up with very inconsistent texture and results.

  3. I can’t wait to try this recipe…but did you ever try eating a firm but ripe persimmon? OOOOOO La La!

  4. A persimmon pudding sounds so good!

  5. I’m not gonna lie, I saw ‘sous-vide’, ‘persimmon’ and ‘pudding’ and I died a little inside. You’re my food blogging hero. Spoon sex, indeed!

    Jax x

  6. Wow, what beautiful puddings and presentation is so elegant. I’ll be on the lookout for persimmons. Sounds like the pudding has a lovely texture. I have my eye on that a sous vide machine too!

  7. They look gorgeous! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  8. I see persimmon trees in my Mom’s neighborhood in Georgia. They are the bigger persimmons that one can slice and sear with spices. I wish I lived near them too:)
    Your pudding looks wonderful either way. Saw it in my sidebar and had to comment. Nice!

  9. Beautiful! Love it, I want to try…baine marie for me:). I’ve just discovered fuyu persimmons and I LOVE THEM!!!!

  10. Beautiful treat. I wouldn’t be able to resist. ;)

  11. We’re definitely swimming in Persimmons down here, and honestly, I’ve never cooked with them before! This post may definitely change my way of thinking though because these look fabulous!

  12. These look truly amazing! I have never tasted persimmon…now THAT is a travesty that should be corrected. And quickly.

  13. I’ve never had persimmon before… interesting… and they look gorgeous!

  14. Spoon sex is a phrase that is not going to leave my brain any time soon, so thanks for that.
    I can’t say I love persimmons. My hub has been buying them lately, though, so I should probably give them another chance. Who can pass up spoon sex?
    I think we should call you the sous vide ninja, actually.

  15. This is my type of dessert… I think I can’t have enough of persimmons for this time of year. These look gorgeous!

  16. Hey Gorgeous,
    These little delights are almost (not quite) as yummy as you! I am headed straight to my friend’s sous vide machine to whip these up. We’ve got quite a few persimmons here, but I don’t want any of your pine nuts. I’ve been stricken by PINE MOUTH since Thursday but didn’t figure it out until Friday. I kept asking my friends, “Does this taste a little bitter?” Thank goodness I didn’t have pine nuts in my meal and afflict everyone with this horrible plague.

  17. These little puddings look great! I’m without a sous vide, so I’ll have to try the oven water bath method.

  18. Linda, that looks like the perfect finale to a thanksgiving dinner. I only have a 3’x2′ bit of counter/cupboard space left in my tiny kitchen so I’ve been debating whether I should fill it with a thermomix, a sous vide machine, and ice cream machine, or a pacojet (though I don’t think my freezer will fit the canisters. What would you get?

  19. This looks incredible. Love the humor and grace in your writing. And love the fact that I just want to put my face in those pictures! I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving.
    – Butter

  20. Paula wants Persimmon Pudding PRONTO ; )

  21. Hmmm, now I know what to do with those persimmons I pondered at TJ’s but failed to buy for fear they would languish in the kitchen. . .

  22. Salty, those make me sad with their overwhelming goodness. See, I’ve never eaten persimmon before, though I did have a set of persimmons woods in my golf bag for awhile. Then Big Bertha came and changed the game with metal woods – but I didn’t know the difference; I was like ten when that happened. So whether I had persimmons woods or metal, the fact is, I wasn’t cooking either of them en sous vide. They’re not made for human consumption, after all.

    But that pudding certainly is. I’ll check my grocers for you; I’ll bet I can snag a bunch of them at my Super H mart.

  23. Gorgeous – When i lived in Asia I used to eat permission all the time but here they are pretty expensive. The only time i get it is when i am in Uwajimaya. Then i just eat it as a fruit. Great idea though. So i am still very curious about the Sous Vide, when you make a piece of meat how do you brown it?

  24. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Andra Zeppelin, Sommer Jonesin' and Linda M Nicholson, The Local Dish. The Local Dish said: Persimmon Pudding (En Sous Vide) #Seattle #Food […]

  25. I have huge Fuyu love (made 10 jars of Fuyu-Chai jam already) and yet I can’t seem to write down my ingredients, either. Maybe it happens more with those precocious persimmons than other products, even. So happy you included the recipe, and can’t wait to try these.

  26. These look absolutely gorgeous! I’ll have look and pray that these are available in my area. This is certainly worth trying! Glad you included PIE in the glorious P foods!

    You have the most amazing gadgets!

  27. What? No persimmons in Seattle? I live in Vancouver, and we have them in abundance here. Like, growing in peoples’ yards. It’s ridiculous. I have so many I don’t know what to do with them. Well, until now. Thanks for the recipe! We should seriously do a Vancouver-Seattle exchange of hard-to-find ingredients. I can think of a few I’m in need of but can’t get here as well.

  28. looks totaly amazing!! good job!

  29. Oh these tantalize me! I want it all!

  30. Looks delicious! Have to try them! Thanks for the recipe! AnaV.

  31. They look wonderful. You summed it up well, the best stuff is just the random this and that guided by your taste buds. I spent Thanksgiving looting a friend’s pomegranate and persimmon orchard, and filled my sack w. way too many pomegranates. I took only one lonely persimmon!! Shame on me, had I known this was coming I would have reversed order. I’m kind of sick of pomegranates now =)

  32. Those are really, really lovely. I will have to try these with native persimmons when I am back in the Midwest.

    Linda Reply:

    @Angela FRS, Thank you, so kind of you to say.

  33. these are absolutely gorgeous…i love that you get that beautiful orange color and it’s finally NOT from pumpkin! so refreshing to see something different :)

    Linda Reply:

    @Heather, a little pumpkined out, are we:)?

  34. I can’t believe you don’t have persimmons growing up there! I know of a couple of trees here in Portland and the climate isn’t that different. You might want to keep your eyes peeled in the next couple of weeks!
    Great recipe! Can’t wait to try it!

    Linda Reply:

    @Peredur, good point- i added a qualifier since this is not to say that persimmons won’t grow here, just that they’re less common. sure wish i had a bountiful local source:)

  35. Sounds delicious, looks beautiful! As always!

    Linda Reply:

    @Ravenous Rowie, merci x a million, cheers!

  36. These puddings are beautiful! I love persimmons, and including them in a pannacotta is genious! Wonderful recipe, thanks for sharing!

    Linda Reply:

    @Amy, thank you, beautiful!

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