Puddings are as much a method as they are a food. Making a pudding requires a vessel specially made for the purpose: a pudding mold (the standard is a 2-quart, which is what this recipe calls for). You’ll also need a pot that will contain the mold with the lid on. A deep dutch oven should suffice.
4 ounces unsalted butter
7 ounces (1 cup) sugar
5 ounces (1 cup) all-purpose flour
1 cup persimmon pulp
1 tablespoon bourbon whiskey
2 teaspoons baking soda mixed with 2 teaspoons warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup golden raisins
Combine the eggs, persimmon pulp, bourbon, vanilla and soda mixture a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the flour and spices. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle beat the butter and sugar until light in color. With the mixer on low, add half the flour, then half the persimmon mixture. Turn off the mixer and scrape the bowl down. Turn the mixer back on and add the remaining flour, then the remaining persimmon mixture. Scrape once again, and with the machine on low, stir in the walnuts and raisins.
Pour the mixture into a well-buttered 2-quart pudding mold and affix the lid. Put the mold in the pot and pour in enough water to come halfway up the sides of the mold. Turn the heat up to medium and bring the water to a simmer. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 2 hours, until a sharp knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the pudding cool (about an hour).
Prepare the hard sauce while the pudding is cooling. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat 4 ounces of soft butter with 6 ounces of powdered sugar until fluffy. Beat in 1 tablespoon of brandy.
When the pudding is cool, unmold it, cut it into slices and serve with dollops of hard sauce on the side.