Persimmon Pudding with Whipped Coconut Cream
I have to start this post off by honestly telling you that I’ve never really liked persimmons. My grandma loved them, so they remind me of her, which makes me really want to love them. But no matter how many times I try samples of them at the farmers’ market, I just never come around to them.
This year I decided that I would give them a go in recipes to see if that might be a way for me to fall in love with them. I came across this recipe for persimmon pudding that seemed promising, and I can honestly say that it makes me love persimmons – at least this version of them. (The sugar doesn’t hurt, of course!)
Now I have to warn you that on its own in the pan, this pudding ain’t pretty. I was able to salvage it by cutting out rounds with a biscuit cutter, and this turned out to be a great way to serve it.
It tastes fantastic, but I suspect it’s less that picture-perfect appearance is a result of the original recipe relying very heavily on eggs and lots of dairy. In all honesty, it probably needs a re-vamping from the ground up to make a vegan version that looks like the original.
That being said, I’d still take this version in a heart-beat. I think that it looks elegant served this way, and it would be the perfect ending to fancy holiday meal. It’s also pretty rich (especially with the whipped coconut cream on top), so a little goes a long way.
My mom told me that my grandma used to make a persimmon pudding, so now I have to try to get my hands on that recipe. In the meantime, here’s my vegan-ized version of this one…
2 cups persimmon pulp
1 1/2 cups soy milk
1 1/4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon EnerG egg replacer mixed with 1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons soy cream
1 tablespoon Just Like Honey rice nectar, or agave nectar
1 1/2-ounces margarine, melted
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
Whipped Coconut Cream for serving (recipe follows)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 inch baking pan lightly with nonstick spray; set aside.
To make the persimmon pulp, peel the persimmons and puree them in a food processor. Stir the apple cider vinegar into the soy milk and set aside to curdle. (This will be your “buttermilk”.)
Mix the persimmon puree with the 1 1/2 cups sugar in a large bowl; set aside. Whisk together the egg replacer with water in a small bowl. Add the baking soda to this mixture and whisk again. Add the egg mixture to the persimmon mixture and beat well; set aside.
Whisk together the 1 cup flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon in a bowl. Stir 1/4 of the flour mixture to the persimmon mixture. Add 1/4 of the buttermilk and mix well. Continue alternating flour and buttermilk, adding 1/4 each time, and mixing well after each addition, until all of the flour mixture and buttermilk are incorporated. Stir in the soy cream, just like honey, and melted margarine until well combined. Pour the pudding batter into the prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven until set, about 1 hour. While baking, do not stir; Turn off the oven at the end of the baking time, but do not remove the pudding from the oven.
Meanwhile, when the pudding has about 10 minutes of baking time left, make the sauce. Boil the water in a small saucepan. Whisk 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon flour together, and whisk sugar mixture into the boiling water, whisking until smooth. Boil the sauce for 5 minutes and remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. [I actually forgot to add the vanilla, and it still tasted fine.]
Pour the sauce mixture evenly over the pudding, and leave the pudding to cool in the warm oven for 20 more minutes, being sure that the oven is off so that the pudding does not continue to cook.
Once the pudding is cool, cut out rounds (or any shape you like) and transfer them to plates. Top with the whipped coconut cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon. The pudding keeps well in the fridge for a few days.
Whipped Coconut Cream
1 can full-fat coconut milk
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
pinch vanilla powder (or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract)
Chill the can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight. Open the can, and spoon the thick cream on top into the bowl of a stand mixer (but leave the water in the can). Sift the powdered sugar onto of the coconut cream and whip them together until the cream is thick and fluffy. (You can also do this with an electric hand mixer, or with a whisk and a lot of arm strength!) Pipe or spoon the coconut cream on top of the pudding, and store any extra in the refrigerator.