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Lemon Velvet, Persimmon Pudding


DEAR SOS: In a past Culinary SOS column you mentioned that your file recipe for Lemon Velvet was missing. The recipe I am enclosing was copied from The Times some time in the 1960s.


DEAR ANNE: What would we do without readers, who are the backbone of our missing-recipes bureau!


1 1/4 cups sugar

Zest and juice of 3 to 4 lemons

2 cups half and half

3/4 cup evaporated milk

Combine sugar, lemon zest and juice in saucepan. Cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Cool.

Stir in half and half and evaporated milk. Freeze in freezer trays or process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. Makes about 1 quart.

DEAR SOS: I misplaced my recipe for former First Lady Nancy Reagan's Persimmon Pudding. Any chance?


DEAR ELEANOR: Certainly. Persimmons are falling off trees in Southern California and showing up in markets throughout the country until the end of the holiday season. What better way to spruce up a festive meal than with a recipe from a former president's Thanksgiving table?


1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 cup flour, sifted

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons warm water

1 cup pureed persimmon pulp (3 to 4 very ripe fruit)


1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup seedless raisins

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Brandy Whipped Cream Sauce

Stir together sugar and melted butter in medium bowl. Re-sift flour with salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, then add to butter mixture. Dissolve baking soda in warm water. Add to butter-spice mixture with persimmon pulp, 3 tablespoons brandy and vanilla.

Add eggs, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Add raisins and nuts, stirring just until mixed.

Turn into buttered 5- to 6-cup steam-type mold. Cover and place on rack in steam kettle. Pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up sides of mold. Cover kettle and simmer 2 1/2 hours. Let stand few minutes then unmold onto serving dish.

Warm 1/4 cup brandy in small saucepan. Pour over pudding and flame. Serve with Brandy Whipped Cream Sauce. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Brandy Whipped Cream Sauce

1 egg

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 cup sifted powdered sugar

Dash salt

1 tablespoon brandy flavoring

1 cup whipping cream

Beat egg until light and fluffy. Beat in melted butter, powdered sugar, salt and brandy flavoring. Whip cream until stiff. Gently fold into egg mixture. Cover and chill until serving time.

DEAR SOS: I very much enjoy the Spaghetti Factory in Fullerton. They serve a spaghetti dish with browned butter and mizithra cheese I have not seen on the menu elsewhere. I'd appreciate the recipe.


DEAR SHEILA: Other readers love the recipe too. We have answered requests for this simple spaghetti and cheese dish for years. You can use just the mizithra, a Greek cheese similar to ricotta, or combine it with other Greek cheeses, such as Kasseri and Caciocavallo, or other soft cheeses.


1 pound spaghetti

1 cup butter or margarine

1/2 pound dry ricotta cheese, Kasseri or Caciocavallo, grated

1/4 pound Romano cheese, grated

1/4 cup chopped parsley

Cook spaghetti until tender but firm to bite. Drain. Melt butter in large skillet until butter turns brown in color. Sprinkle with mixed cheeses, then drizzle with browned butter. Sprinkle with parsley. Makes 6 servings.

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