Persimmons have been dropping early this year, thanks to the drought. While mowing today–for the first time since about June–I stopped to collect fallen fruit from around the tree. The search for treasure hidden amid tall grass and clover put me in mind of an Easter egg hunt.
There are already several batches of persimmon pulp in the freezer, ready for cold-weather baking. Pulping is a labor-intensive process involving a hand-operated mill.
When it’s time to bake, I use my favorite recipe–the one that first introduced me to persimmon pudding. The recipe comes from the grandmother of a friend who originally misinterpreted the “1 t of salt” to mean a tablespoonful. The saltiness of that original pudding only added to the dish’s exotically Midwestern character on those first occasions when I tasted it. Although my friend eventually confirmed that the “t” meant “teaspoon,” the less-salty pudding remains a quintessentially Midwestern treat.