This recipe is from Savoring SIMI Since 1876, a collection of recipes served by our winery chefs throughout our 140 year history and currently brought to life by our beloved Chef Kolin Vazzoler.
To make the compote, in a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the apple juice and let sit for 5 minutes. In a saucepan, combine the cranberries, granulated sugar, orange juice, wine, lime juice, salt, and gelatin mixture and place over medium heat. Bring just to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring, until the berries begin to pop but are still whole, 5 to 7 minutes. Then immediately remove from the heat and let cool. (Do not allow the mixture to boil or the gelatin will lose its setting ability.) Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours. (You will have more compote than you will need. Any remaining compote will keep for up to 1 month.)
To make the persimmon pudding, preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter one 9-by-3-inch round cake pan or springform pan (with a tight seal) or eight 1/2-cup molds (plain or fluted) or ramekins. In a bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the persimmon puree, eggs, brown sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and cream. Add the flour mixture to the persimmon mixture and whisk just until well mixed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan or divide evenly among the prepared molds. Cover tightly with aluminum foil, shiny side down. Place the pan or the molds (not touching) in a baking pan. Pour water into the baking pan to come about halfway up the sides of the cake pan or the molds. Bake until a skewer inserted into the center of the pudding comes out clean, 2 to 2 1/2 hours for the cake pan or 45 minutes for the molds.
When the pudding is ready, remove from the water bath and let cool on a rack until lukewarm. Run a knife along the inside edge of the large pan or of the individual molds to loosen the pudding. If using a cake pan, invert the pan onto the rack, lift off the pan, and turn the pudding right side up on a serving plate. If using a springform pan, unclasp and remove the pan sides and slide the pudding onto a serving plate. If using individual molds, wait to unmold until serving.
While the pudding is baking, make the crème anglaise. In a heavy saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, granulated sugar, and salt until well blended. Set aside. Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl and set a medium bowl in the ice bath.
In a small saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat just to a boil. Remove from the heat. Using a sharp knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise, then use the tip of the knife to scrape the vanilla seeds into the hot cream. Infuse the cream for several minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually add the hot cream to the egg mixture while whisking constantly. Place the pan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly but gently, until the custard coats the back of a spoon, 4 to 5 minutes. Do not allow the custard to boil.
Remove from the heat, stir gently once or twice until smooth, and then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into the bowl nested in the ice bath. Let cool completely, stirring occasionally. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
To serve, spoon the crème anglaise onto eight individual serving plates. Divide the Fuyu persimmon slices evenly among the plates, arranging them on the crème anglaise. If you have baked a single large pudding, cut it into wedges and place a wedge atop the persimmon slices on each plate. If using individual molds, carefully invert a pudding onto each plate. Finish each plate with a spoonful of the compote, placing it next to the pudding, and garnish with a mint sprig, if desired.
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