The texture of this dessert depends on the type of bread you use. Coarse-crumbed bread will easily absorb the egg mixture for a fluffy pudding. Fine-crumbed bread will yield a denser, though equally delicious, result.
Persimmon Bread Pudding
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus butter for greasing
4 to 6 cups (32 to 48 fl. oz./1 to 1.5 l) whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 1/2 cups (12 oz./375 g) sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
10 to 12 slices stale bread, each about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick, crusts removed
1 cup (8 oz./250 g) peeled and pureed Hachiya persimmons (from 2 to 3 persimmons)
Vanilla ice cream for serving
Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly butter a 9-by-5-inch (23-by-13-cm) loaf pan or other baking dish.
If you are using fine-textured or moist bread, pour 4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l) of the milk into a large bowl; use 5 to 6 cups (40 to 48 fl. oz./1.25 to 1.5 l) for coarse, dry bread. Add the vanilla, eggs, nutmeg, cloves, 3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) of the sugar and the salt and whisk well. Add the bread and let stand just until it is thoroughly softened, about 2 minutes; it should not be soggy. Transfer the bread to another bowl, reserving the egg mixture.
Arrange a layer of soaked bread in the prepared pan. Top with one-third of the persimmon purée. Pour about one-fourth of the egg mixture over the top. Repeat twice, pushing down the layers of bread as you go. Finish with a bread layer and pour over the remaining egg mixture.
In a bowl, combine the butter and the remaining 3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) sugar. Using your fingertips or a wooden spoon, crumble them together and sprinkle over the top of the pudding.
Bake until a tester inserted into the center of the pudding comes out clean, 45 to 60 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Scoop into bowls and serve warm topped with scoops of vanilla ice cream. Serves 6.
Find more fresh ideas for pies, cakes, tarts and more
in our Luscious Fruit Desserts.