Friday, 19 November 2010

Zabaglione-Persimmon Bread Pudding

Actually it's challah pudding, because the eggy loaf is one of the few things we ever have on hand to make bread pudding. I'll admit to not being a huge fan of challah—the word itself is Hebrew for "good to dry cars with"—and I am guessing it's one of those things you need to grow up with in order to actually like. Consumed within hours of emerging from the oven, a challah has the redeeming quality of being fresh. After that, well…it does make good bread pudding.

We're up to our earballs in persimmons, too. Dad has a tree. Mom's friends have trees, and drive-by persimmon donations are daily occurrences this time of year. Unfortunately, the ripening gets ahead the consumption, and through the magic of ethylene one overly-soft persimmon will turn a whole fruit bowl in a flash. Faced with one mostly neglected challah and a brace of ripe persimmons that had been isolated from the rest, a bread-persimmon pudding seemed like just the logical thing to do.

In place of a typical binder, I substituted zabaglione: four eggs, about a cup of sugar, half a cup of marsala are mixed continuously in a double boiler until thoroughly warm and frothy. The pulp of three very ripe persimmons (no seeds!) are blended in.

Meanwhile, in bowl number two, a torn-to-shreds most-of-a-challah is doused with milk and the persimmon/zabaglione mixture is added. The whole mess then gets put into a parchment-lined loaf pan, and then into the oven at 120°C (350°F) until cooked, which depends on the size of your loaf pan.

Served warm, it's actually pretty light.

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