In winter, vivid orange persimmons hang on leafless trees around the Mediterranean — a sparkling sight against a darkening sky. These fruit, that look somewhat like tomatoes, have thin skins, a pulpy flesh and sometimes contain seeds. Until completely ripe, the tannins in the flesh make persimmons too astringent to eat, so make sure you choose fruit that are soft with no green or yellow patches. Sharon fruit, a variety developed in Israel, is less astringent and can be eaten while firm, so it is good for salads, but it lacks the real sweetness of a fully ripe persimmon. This recipe comes from Ann Arnold, a fine still-life painter and talented cook, who lives in Berkeley, California.
Cut around the calyx of the persimmons and remove it, then cut the fruit in half. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon, discarding any seeds, and blend to a purée. You should have about
Serve the pudding with whipped cream laced with cognac, or with Vanilla or Cinnamon Ice Cream.
© 2005 Jill Norman. All rights reserved.