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Some time ago, I started to welcome each fall with a pumpkin pie. While nearly 100 degree temperatures aren't really the best weather for pie making, it is time again to kick off autumn with a pumpkin sacrifice. Here is my little baking pumpkin, ready to become a wonderful pumpkin pudding for desert.
Pumpkin pudding: This can't be easier to prepare, since it's really a pumpkin pie filling without the crust, baked alone in a dish. I have made this so many times that I've gotten it down to a few easy steps and a very simple set of ingredients: spices (allspice, cinnamon), brown sugar, egg (well, egg whites actually).
First step: cook the pumpkin. There are several ways to do this. I cut my pumpkin in half and cleaned out the seeds with a big spoon. Then each half was cut into about 3 big pieces (btw: it takes a super sharp butcher's knife to do this). These pieces were set in a big soup pan with several inches of water in the bottom. This was covered with a lid and brought to a boil. I think it takes between 30 minutes and an hour to cook the pieces, depending on the pumpkin. You'll know yours is ready when a fork can pierce the chunks easily. Drain these in a collander or set them out on a dish cloth. When cool to the touch, use a spoon to scoop out the soft pumpkin from the skin.
Second step: make up the batter. I put about half of the pumpkin in my food processor, along with about a 1/2 cup of the brown sugar, and several 'dashes' of cinnamon and allspice. This was whirled until blended. This is a good time to take a taste in case you need to add more spices. Next add 1/4 cup of the egg whites and whirl. Repeat with the second batch then stir both batches together well.
Third step: cook. It was too hot for the oven, so I used a micro wave to cook our pudding. I found one of my cute vintage corning baking dishes and poured the batter into it. I cooked it in 5 minutes sets, checking with a fork to see how it was setting up. When a fork can pierce it cleanly, you're done.
This pudding can be served warm with any topping, such as ice cream, but actually I like to have it plain.
This happy pumpkin pudding is our 'good bye' to long days and evenings spent outside. We have already begun to notice the glow of fall's earlier sunsets, but I also know our weather will continue to stay warm for a month, or even longer!