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Hard Living

Every Christmas my mom bakes. A lot. This year, because we’re going to be in Mexico for the holiday, she “only” made a few things: makowiec, an Eastern European bread aswirl with raisins, almonds and poppy seeds; limpa, a Swedish molasses-based bread with anise; sweet potato refrigerator rolls (her new favorite thing; see Cottageliving.com for a recipe) and my personal favorite—persimmon pudding with hard (bourbon) sauce.

When it comes right down to it, I’d argue that persimmon pudding—as lovely as it is—might actually just be a vehicle for hard sauce. So it’s a good thing that the recipe leaves you with plenty extra. I recommend putting hard sauce on pretty much anything.



Steamed Persimmon Pudding with Bourbon Sauce
(From Bon Appetit, December 1982)

1 cup fresh persimmon puree, made from about 3 peeled, very ripe (like wrinkly on the outside with creamy flesh) Hachiya persimmons
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup butter   
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Grease a 2 quart pudding mold. Combine persimmon puree and baking soda in small bowl and blend well. Cream butter with sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, rum and lemon juice.Add flour, cinnamon and salt and mix well. Stir in persimmon puree and pecans.  Spoon batter into prepared mold.  Snap lid onto mold. Set mold on rack in very large saucepan, kettle or stockpot. Place pan over low heat. Add enough water to come halfway up sides of mold.  Cover pan and steam pudding, maintaining water at gentle simmer until tester inserted in center of mold comes out clean, about 2 hours. 

Bourbon sauce
(Whiskey sauce recipe adapted from Bon Ton Café in New Orleans)

1 egg
1 c sugar
1/2 cup butter
4 tablespoons bourbon

Beat egg till thick; add sugar, beating 2–3 minutes; add hot, melted butter. Stir. Add bourbon.