After filling six dehydrator sheets with sliced persimmon, and putting 11 cups of persimmon pulp into freezer bags - you then discover that the gallon bag of croutons and the decidedly non-vegan chicken parts rescued from the freezer of a friend moving to Portland (to pass along to another friend for chicken stock - hey, the chicken is already dead!) - are taking up so much space that you don't have much room for more persimmon pulp in the freezer.
Then, the next morning - say, today - you wake up and find that only 3-4 persimmons, small ones at that, are really super ripe and it's not worth adding them to the dehydrator when you can kill two birds with one stone by using up some of those fabulous sourdough croutons.
Ladies & Gems - I give you:
Persimmon Bread Pudding
- 4 cups bread cut into 1"-1.5" chunks (last night's leftover baguette baseball bat is ok!)
- 3 cups almond milk (regular or vanilla)
- 2-3 small Hachiya persimmons so ripe that you have to take care not to pierce the skin with your fingertip
- 1/3-1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 Tb ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground clove
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup raisins or currants or dried cranberries (or some other dried fruit - chopped dried apricots, nectarines or apples might be nice!)
- 3/4 coarsely chopped pecans
- Pour almond milk into your blender up to the 2 cup mark.
- Cut hachiyas in half and scoop out pulp with a big tablespoon, straight into the blender.
- Check the level - add more almond milk to bring it up to 3 or 3.5 cups.
- Add maple syrup (reserving 3 TB), cinnamon, clove, vanilla to the blender cup - put the lid on and process til smooth.
- Pour custard onto bread crumbs in a large mixing bowl - let soak 5-10 minutes, depending on how tough your bread is already. You want it to absorb a lot of the liquid and there will still be some liquid floating around.
- Mix in raisins and toasted nuts gently - don't mash up the bread!
- Transfer to a lightly greased gratin dish or baking dish - the depth of the dish affects the cooking time and the final outcome. If you like a soft, custardy bread pudding, use a deeper dish - if you like it to be a little more chewy and crispy, use a more shallow dish.
- Drizzle reserved maple syrup on top.
- Bake in 375 oven for 20 minutes - the bread pudding will bubble and get puffy - it will settle a bit after it cools.