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Ruby Blackburn Lambert's persimmon pudding

Time 1 hour
Yields Makes 3 puddings, with 6 to 8 servings each
Ruby Blackburn Lambert’s persimmon pudding
(Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
1

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 3 standard loaf pans or pie dishes.

2

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, then the persimmons and milk. Beat in the flour, baking powder, salt, breadcrumbs and cinnamon. Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared dishes.

3

Bake the puddings until each has puffed, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes; rotate each pudding halfway through baking for even coloring. (Pudding baked in a pie plate will take less time to bake because of the increased surface area.) The puddings will settle as they cool.

4

Serve hot from the oven topped with whipped cream, chopped pecans or -- better yet -- butter pecan ice cream.

Cornelia Lambert called the “Hidden Kitchens” hotline to share how her grandmother, Ruby, turned her legendary cooking into a local fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity. Ruby grew up in the early 1900s at the foot of the mountain in Carroll County in southern Virginia, where her parents had a huge vegetable garden and grew everything they ate. During the Depression, Ruby’s family moved to the town of Mt. Airy, N.C., where they settled on the land where the family still lives. Mt. Airy was the inspiration for the town of Mayberry in “The Andy Griffith Show.” Ruby later married Fred Lambert, who was, in fact, a very distant cousin of Andy Griffith’s.

If it’s entertaining, Jessica Gelt has likely covered it. Since joining the Los Angeles Times in 2003, she has written about television, music, movies, books, art, fashion, food, cocktails and more. She once played bass in a band with an inexplicably large following in Spain, and still gets stopped by fans (OK, maybe a fan) on the streets of Barcelona. She loves dive bars and very dry martinis with olives, though never simultaneously.
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