Autumn is the season for persimmons in Japan. When properly ripened (but not too ripe), you can enjoy them as they are, diced and mixed into salads, or even sliced and baked with cheese. Although they may be harder to find in some countries, either the Fuyu or the Hachiya variety of persimmons are sometimes available in high-end supermarket chains or can be ordered online.
Although it’s not uncommon to see Tweets about persimmons at this time of year, there has recently been an uptick in attention on the orange fruit after the Gifu prefectural branch of ZEN-NOH, the National Federation of Agricultural Co-operative Associations, posted a recipe for “Persimmon Pudding” on its Twitter account.
You’ve probably heard of mango pudding or other kinds of fruit puddings before, so you may wonder why a persimmon pudding would attract so much attention. As it turns out, it’s not what’s in this pudding that is surprising, but rather what isn’t.
All you need to do is put one large persimmon, 100 ml (0.4 cups) of whole milk and half a tablespoon of sugar in a blender set to puree, transfer the contents into individual ramekins or cups, pop them into the refrigerator over night, and voila!
“Wait a second, how does it harden without a thickening agent?” you may be asking yourself.
As it turns out, persimmons contain a high quantity of pectin, and have traditionally been used as a thickening agent. Combined with the calcium in the milk, the mixture thickens and you’ll have yourself a pudding without needing to add anything else!
On Twitter, many reacted with surprise and admiration, leaving comments such as:
- “Wow, that’s just like a Fruche (a popular brand of Japanese fruit dessert mix made with milk)”
- “I learned something great today. I want to try this now.”
- “I have ripe persimmons at home, so that’s perfect!”
Even if your persimmons aren’t ripe, it will thicken. The ripened ones are sweeter so you may wish to adjust the amount of sugar you use. And if you have a sweet tooth, you can add more sugar or honey as you wish.
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