Thompson's Persimmon Pudding

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CAROLYN THOMPSON'S MONTGOMERY COUNTY PERSIMMON PUDDING

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups persimmon pulp                                 3 eggs (beaten)
1 1/2 cups sugar                                           2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon salt                                       1 3/4 cups milk
1 stick butter (melted)                                1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg                                    1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
1/2 teaspoon baking soda                          1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Mix persimmon pulp, beaten eggs, vanilla flavoring and milk together.  In a separate bowl, sift all dry ingredients together and add liquid ingredients and mix.  Stir in melted margarine or butter.  Lightly grease  a 13 x 9 x 2 inch Pyrex baking dish adding pudding mixture and bake in a 300 degree F. oven for 1 hour.

Below persimmon pudding baked on 10-24-15 and served on 10-26-15. 

Persimmon pudding was "off the chain good" with a beautiful blend of spices on the palate.

FIRST PERSIMMON PUDDING BAKED BELOW

Below is my first persimmon pudding that I baked on 10-13-08 and was fantastic.

NOTE:  The persimmon pudding will rise right up to the rim of the 2 inch deep Pyrex dish but will go back down to about half that thickness or less as the pudding cools down and is normal. 

Above recipe received from Carolyn Thompson from Mt. Gilead, NC on 10-13-08 and had the opportunity to sample some of the persimmon pudding she made yesterday and it was outstanding to say the least.  It would literally melt in your mouth and the little pinch of ground clove she added to the recipe really set this recipe apart from others.  I am going to wait on a pix from Quinton Thompson of the persimmon pudding that he recently photographed and in the meantime, I am going to give this recipe a try myself.

PUDDING VERSUS CUSTARD TERMINOLOGY

There has been debate whether this recipe is a pudding or is a custard since it has the elements of both a pudding and a custard.  It does look more like a custard in consistency.  The thickening agent (eggs) used in this recipe was one of the key elements that separate the two such as cornstarch for the pudding and eggs for the custard and that is not always true since some puddings do have eggs in them.  Most of the original persimmon pudding recipes that date back to the 1800s use eggs in them and many use buttermilk instead of plain milk but most of the recipes are still in the ball park.  I like the usage of pudding versus custard but it really doesn't matter as long as the taste is there, however the above recipe would fit the criteria more closely as being a custard......grin if you must! 

HARVESTING WILD PERSIMMONS ON 10-13-08

I picked some wild persimmons on the way home from work this afternoon (10-13-08) and will insert a few pixs along the way rendering the wild persimmons into usable pulp.  Below pixs of the small wild persimmon tree where I obtained the persimmons.  I checked another larger tree but the deer or wild hogs had eaten all but two persimmons that had recently fallen onto the ground and the ground beneath the wild persimmon tree was literally torn up as if wild hogs had been in there and it very could well have been wild hogs because I didn't really check the tracks that close but they looked like deer tracks.  This year due to many slow soaking rains received locally, fruit trees are heavy laden and bending over under the weight of their fruit. 

    Click on thumbnails for a larger view.

Check this link out for a back ground and history of our American Persimmon tree (Diospyros virginiana)

Below is pix of a wild persimmon tree with fruit still hanging and is in view from my of my platform hunting tree stand on the ole Pines Davis land near the Anson County airport taken in November of 2000:

Click on thumbnail for a larger view.

CONE STRAINER, CONICAL SIEVE, CANNING COLANDER, RICER, MASHER, JUICER.....THE APPARATUS BELOW GOES BY ALL THOSE NAMES AND SOME MORE; TAKE YOUR PICK.

 

This ole colander or fruit press as some call them was in our basement in storage and did a rush sanitize job on it and about ready to start pressing the pulp from the wild persimmons or "simmons" as some call them in these parts.  Washing the persimmons collected in cold water is optional, especially if many of them are already mushy and burst open, however I did separate the cap from each persimmon before placing them in the colander and any other debris such as grass and leaves.  Old timers years ago would place sheets under their persimmon tree to catch the ripened fruit as it would fall from the tree whereby eliminating ground dirt and debris on the persimmons.  Folks back then especially during the 1930's, The Great Depression Era used every available food resource and their axiom, "Waste Not, Want Not" was true indeed!  Seems like we are quickly heading back that way again although our politically correct crowd try to avoid the R word, RECESSION!

I have just about gotten all the usable pulp from that batch of wild persimmons.  Each persimmon is loaded with seeds and the deer, raccoons, fox and opossums around here will beat you to the persimmon tree and they consume the wild persimmons whole, seeds and all.  The raccoon and opossum have a slight advantage since they will climb the tree and eat them from the branches whereas yours truly will wait until they fall from the tree when ripe or if the tree is small enough, give it a little shake to help them along.  Two cups of persimmon pulp rendered exactly the right amount for one recipe.

The raw wild persimmon pulp taste as good as it looks and can't wait until the finished product is on the serving dish with yours truly enjoying every delicious bite.   The pulp is headed for the refrigerator until ready to bake the pudding, hopefully tomorrow. 

ASSEMBLING THE WILD PERSIMMON PUDDING INGREDIENTS

All the ingredients displayed except the milk for the wild persimmon pudding.  The ole bottle of pure Vanilla was hand walked across the Mexican border many years back while visiting our son who lived in Oceanside, Ca. at the time and about ready for a new liter bottle which cost a whopping 6 bucks in Mexico!

The wet ingredients blended using a small hand held Kitchen Aid mixer.

Wet and dry ingredients ready for mixing and adding the melted butter. 

I forgot to get a pix of the wild persimmon pudding batter in the Pyrex dish prior to baking and will show a pix of the finished product.  The raw batter tasted good enough to eat by its self! 

Above wild persimmon pudding cooled down but not all the way...had to cut into it and sink my salivating taste buds into that "beautimous" stuff!  You can easily detect and taste the blend of spices in this recipe.  Awesome, Bill aka Mickey Porter!

I know a scoop of whipped cream on top with a mint leaf or wild flower would add some points to my baking and photography skills resume'  but the wild persimmon pudding does not need taste or pictorial enhancement,  just a fork and a hot cup of coffee for you caffeine junkies.   I savored every delicious bite and might add a pictorial enhancement pix later...go ahead and grin now. 

NOTE: The above serving size was for the camera and about 1/4 that size is plenty to serve since this recipe is very, very rich and sweet!

ADDITIONAL NOTES:  A few days after baking the above persimmon pudding, I took a slice to our hair stylist Jennifer Johnson who had never eaten any persimmon pudding and the following week she stated "It is out of this world" and admitted she was just a little apprehensive about trying it and a couple days later was totally impressed after that first bite of the persimmon pudding!  She is now on the look out for some wild persimmons.  I have several looking also and a couple have provided me with enough to make several persimmon puddings and will hold off until around Thanksgiving to make another one.  Beautimous stuff!    

PS  I will add a pix of Carolyn Thompson and pix of the wild persimmon pudding she recently baked when I receive the pixs from her spouse Quinton Thompson.  Until then, I will insert a pix of Carolyn and Quinton taken at our Annual Halloween party in 2004.  Click on thumbnail for a larger image:

 

 Prepared, photographed and web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 10-14-08.

MORE FRUITS OF THE HARVEST 10-19-08

Picked a large bowl of wild persimmons this morning; most were from another tree I located that is about 15 feet high.  Will mash them out and freeze the pulp this afternoon/evening.

NOTE: The above rendered 5 cups of pulp.  Bill aka Mickey Porter 10-19-08.

Above pixs taken in November 2010 of some persimmons mashed out and ready for some beautimous persimmon pudding.  I have enough to make six (s) persimmon puddings and look forward to one on Thanksgiving along with some wild turkey nuggets, venison cubed steak and gravy along with the regular traditional Thanksgiving fixings.

Bill aka Mickey Porter 11-11-10

PERSIMMON PUDDING MAIN INGREDIENT 2015

I have gathered a few wild persimmons this year although pickings have been rather slim.  I found a new source this morning and the lady told me I could gather all I wanted.  Below is a pix of an 18 quart container about half full.  Should render some wonderful persimmon puddings in the future.

Wild persimmon pulp can be frozen for a few years and there is no reason you can't hot water bath can it too.

PERSIMMON SEEDS FOLKLORE

Folklore claims that Persimmon seeds can predict the coming winter weather. To determine this, it's necessary to split the seed in half and look at the light colored embryo inside.  If done properly, you should be able to see the shape either a knife, fork or spoon.  A spoon denotes lots of snow in the coming winter.  A knife indicates a winter colder than normal, and a fork is supposed to mean we're in for a lot of ice storms.  However, after nearly forty years of attempting to divine winter weather this way, I can say with absolutely no reservations that this particular method is completely useless.  By unknown author.

WILD PERSIMMONS YIELD ON 10-25-15

Above persimmons yielded 14 cups of pulp, enough for 7 persimmon puddings.  Pix taken in basement workshop using my multipurpose out feed table adjacent my table saw of which the table gets a workout during hunting season for processing the deer harvested and regular wood working projects, typing tapered leaders, archery, hunting, etc............grin if you must!

It took me approximately 2.5 hours including the clean up to extract those 14 cups of pulp from the container of wild persimmons above.  A lot of slow going work but worth every delicious bite when that persimmon pudding comes in contact with your taste buds!

EXPERIENCE WITH GREEN WILD PERSIMMONS

It wasn't too many decades ago that many homes and small farms had wild persimmon trees growing on their property of which most were planted for their fruit and not as yard decor.  Older folks will tell you as youngsters they have picked a green persimmon from the tree and tasted it of which that remembrance will never be forgotten.  That is one of the most astringent, sour and bitter taste you are ever likely to encounter and I have personal experience of doing the same.....grin if you must!  That experience no doubt has caused most to shy away from anything to do with wild persimmons as a food item later in life but wild persimmons when ripe are delicious and was called "The Fruit Of The Gods" by the ancient Greeks.

I do not remember my parents or Grandma Coley making any persimmon pudding, however according to my Sister Susan Pettigrew of Reidsville, NC, she stated that our Grandma Lizzie Porter made persimmon pudding adding grated coconut and raisins to the mixture and it was good.

Web published updates by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 10-23-15, 10-25-15 and 10-26-15.

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