It’s day 30 of 31 days of pumpkin, my friends, and I’ve gone back to basics and back to the book that inspired me as a young home cook so many years ago. My mother gave me this book when I was a junior in college and I cooked from it religiously back then. Now it’s funny. Some of the recipes feel a bit dated. There’s even a recipe in there for a pumpkin mold: a kind of custardy, pudding-like thing that you chill in a bundt cake pan and turn out. I didn’t have the energy to actually make it, although I considered doing so just for the retro appeal and possible shock factor of the resulting photograph. (Tastestopping, here we come)! It will have to wait until next year.
Instead, I’ve made this simple pudding, meant to be served warm. It melts in your mouth and warms you on a chill October day. Now I really want to make a warm chocolate pudding and swirl it in with the pumpkin. Come to think of it, I hadn’t made home-made pudding before this, so this one could open up a whole new genre for me. My kids will be glad. I bet one could manage to create a line of healthy, home-made puddings that sneak good nutrients into your child’s diet. Since I had my kids in mind for this recipe, I actually opted out of the rum, but I can imagine just how tasty that would be, especially since it’s meant to be eaten warm.
From The New York Times Cookbook, by Craig Claiborne
4 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups pumpkin purée
3/4 cup half-and-half
2 to 4 Tbsp rum (optional)
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp groun cloves
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1 Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
2. Beat the egg whites until stiff
3. Beat the egg yolks until thick and lemon colored. Combine the yolks with the pumpkin purée, half-and-half, rum, sugar and spices. Mix thoroughly until blended. Fold in the beaten egg whites.
4. Place the mixture in a buttered 1-quart soufflé dish. Set the dish in a pan of hot water and bake 40 to 45 minutes. Serve at once with sweetened, flavored whipped cream.