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Steamed Persimmon Pudding

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A Christmas pudding on a plate

This recipe provides an alternative to the traditional Christmas Pudding. Oriental - or Japanese - persimmon1 has to be used in this recipe. They become ripe in winter and so should be readily available2 at Christmas.


For the Pudding:

  • 2 cups3 persimmon pulp (about 10 large Kaki persimmons)
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½lb (250g) butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Brandy (or milk)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
  • Juice from 2 lemons or limes

For the Brandy Sauce:

  • 1 cup soft butter
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar or icing sugar
  • 6 tablespoons Brandy


This recipe is enough to make a gallon of pudding (20 portions) and the sauce to accompany it. If you think that will be too much4, you can make a ½ recipe.

For the Brandy Sauce:

  1. Beat the ingredients together in a hot pan.

  2. Cover the pan and chill until needed.

For the Pudding:

  1. Prepare the persimmon pulp by taking out any bad bits, seeds and skin and then pureeing it in a blender. Stir in the baking soda. This is essential when dealing with persimmons; the fruit will otherwise be astringent and not taste any good at all.

  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, lemon juice, vanilla, and Brandy and then add the persimmon pulp.

  3. Sift the flour into another bowl and mix it with the cinnamon and salt, then stir it into the creamed mixture. Add raisins and nuts.

  4. Thoroughly grease two 2-quart (4-pint/2-litre) pudding moulds and their lids. Spoon the mixture in and secure the lid of each mould (making sure that no mixture touches the top).

  5. Place each mould into a large pot of boiling water and cover with a lid. Steam for 2½ hours, adding more boiling water if needed. Remove the mould from the pot and allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Then unmould the pudding.

  6. Eat the pudding hot or cold, served with the Brandy sauce.

1Diospyros kaki.2Although somewhat expensive if you don't have your own plant.3A cup has a capacity of approximately 250ml.4This Researcher says it's not!

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