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In recent years much has been made of the benefits, both to the environment and one’s health, of eating fresh, locally grown food. Living near a year-round farmers market makes it easy for those of us in the Grand Lake neighborhood to commit to incorporating more seasonal, local ingredients. This column therefore highlights recipes that incorporate ingredients found at the Grand Lake Farmers Market.

Today’s recipe features hachiya persimmons and is a great winter dessert.

Christmas season brings to mind traditional carols, many of which reference delectable things to eat. We actually went caroling a few times when I was young and would always conclude with “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” with its mysterious demand for “figgy pudding.”

I have never actually seen figgy pudding and have no idea what it might be like. However, the first time I tasted this persimmon pudding recipe—given to me by Richard Cowan—I decided that this would stand in for figgy pudding at my Christmases.

The consistency is that of a very moist brownie. In fact, the first time I tried this I mistook it for a brownie at an office holiday party, and I was pleasantly surprised—which was impressive, since I was expecting chocolate.

Persimmon “Figgy” Pudding

Preheat oven to 325. Have all ingredients prepared and then add one at a time to a continuously mixing bowl.

Start with 2+ cups of persimmon from 4–5 very soft hachiya persimmons (the persimmons should look almost rotten or they will have a very astringent taste) put through a colander to make pulp.

Add juice of one lemon to the persimmon mixture.

Beat in 3 extra-large eggs.

Add 2 large serving spoons of yogurt.

Add ½ cup of melted, cooled butter.

Add mixed-together dry ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cups sifted flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. coriander
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground nutmeg

Add one cup walnuts (optional).

Pour into a buttered 9×9 inch pan, and bake approximately one hour.

Serve warm or cold with ice cream or whipped cream.