Prep 30 mins
Cook 3 hrs
My mother used to make this for Christmas in the 1960's. It was really sweet and brown if my memory serves me. According to the recipe this is from Indiana circa 1850. At the bottom of the recipe is written: "Lena Chambers, Gina Allen's niece by marriage". Allen was my mother's maiden name, Betty Gene Allen. Beurah Allen was my grandmother's last name by marriage, she was born in 1884, Beurah Hawkins. So this from my grandfather's side of the family, Vern C. Allen. I have no information on how Gina Allen or Lena Chambers fit in the family tree. Gina Allen could have been my great great grandmother. The measurements listed here are from the original 1850 recipe where quarts and pints are mentioned. There are 2 cups to a pint and 4 cups to a quart. I did change the amount of butter from: "chunk of butter size of an egg), to: "4 tablespoons". I don't think the Zaar program would accept the amount, "chunk".
- 1 quart raw persimmon
- 2 quarts milk
- 1 quart flour
- 1 1⁄2 pints sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 eggs
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 quarts of milk poured over 1 quart of persimmons. (Remove seeds by running through a colander).
- Add 1 quart flour and 1+1/2 pints sugar, (mix together so flour won't lump), to the pulp and milk mixture.
- Mix together well: 1 teaspoon soda, 3 whole eggs (beaten), and chunk of butter (size of an egg).
- Mix and pour into a large crock or roaster and bake in a moderate oven '(350*F)', for 3 hours. Stir 'while baking' a couple of times.
- Serve with whipping cream.
- I had to add 'baking' to the ingredient soda as the Zaar program wouldn't accept just soda and '+' for 1+1/2 pints sugar as it looked like eleven halves in the directions.
- My mother added the 'mix together so flour won't lump' as the original recipe has the flour at the bottom of the recipe and doesn't tell how or when to add it. She also added the '350 degrees' and 'while baking' as the original recipe didn't have this information. She also had: chunk of butter the size of a walnut (or egg). As for the persimmons, I'm just guessing, she cut out the stem and skinned them before she put them through the colander to seed them?.
- I suppose you would want to preheat the oven too, as I believe this was originally made in a wood stove oven?.
- Not listed here is cinnamon and nutmeg as other recipes on Zaar have in them but I'm sure it would help this recipe. Maybe a poor farmer's wife didn't have these spices in 1850 Indiana?
Fantastic story! Would love to hear more. BTW, many period recipes don't have a lot of spice. And to tell you the truth, I tend to favor persimmon pudding recipes that are light in spice so as not to overwhelm the subtleties of the persimmons. One additional note...to simulate a rural palate where cinnamon was not available, I've been experimenting with local plants and flavors to see how they stack up. So far, I have one promising native spice...still working on the amount.