Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Fall means Persimmons

Fall has finally arrived, although with the warm outside temperatures around here, you can't tell it. One of my favorite seasons and with choices like cobblers, pies, and warm punches, fall is one of the best times to cook.

When my husband and I bought our home over twenty years ago, one of the things we liked were all the fruit trees in the big yard. We had apple, peach, and pear trees, a grape arbor, and wild blackberries. But, there was one tree that sold me on the house and that was the persimmon tree. It was the largest persimmon tree I had ever seen.

My memories of persimmon picking were the many times that my aunt would take my cousin and I with her to pick persimmons. None of the trees back then were as big as the one that stood in my future yard.

The apple, peach and pear tree are long gone, but the persimmon tree is still standing tall and full of fruit. Once they ripen and fall, I'll gather and run them trough the colander to get the pulp. I always freeze the pulp in 2 cup portions because that the amount used in my pudding recipe. One fall, I decided to freeze the pulp in zipper bags, which I found to be a big mistake. Once thawed, you can't get all the pulp out of the bag. Now, I freeze them in plastic freezer containers.

Persimmon pudding is nearly all I make from the pulp, but once or twice I like to try something different. By summer, if I still have pulp in the freezer, I like to make homemade persimmon ice cream.

Persimmon Pudding

2 C. persimmon pulp
2 C. sugar
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. cloves
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. salt
1 stick butter or margarine
1 C. milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 - 2 C. flour

Grease and flour 9x13 inch pan. Mix all ingredients well. Pour into the pan and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees f.

Persimmon Ice Cream*

2 3/4 C. sugar
3/4 C. persimmon pulp
2 T. flour
8 eggs, beaten
1/4 t. salt
1 pint heavy cream

Mix together sugar and pulp. Add the flour, eggs, salt, and cream. Pour into an ice cream freezer and fill the container with the milk until the mixture is about 3 inches from the top. Churn according to freezer directions. Serve immediately when done.

* Please take caution in making an ice cream recipe with raw eggs. According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, between 1996 and 2000 there were recorded illness in more than 500 people that were traced to salmonella bacteria in homemade ice cream. You may want to substitute a recipe that cooks the mixture, or use an egg substitute that has been pasteurized.

1 comment:

Molly Daniels said...

I've never had persimmon-anything, but I remember my grandmother talking about that particular fruit. Now the blackberries...we had wild blackberries at our old house, and I miss them. Last summer, when we made multiple trips back up there, we'd stop by and have ourselves a treat, ha ha:)

Glad you've racovered from the knee surgery, and that all is well!