A great pudding is hard to pass up, and this is a great one. But if you’re wondering how pudding, a childhood staple, can possibly be a date night dessert, you need to take a new look at pudding. And this is the recipe to show you pudding’s sexy side. Creamy and decadent, this irresistible recipe not only contains the aphrodisiac of pumpkin (yes, really), but it also offers a blend of spices known for their “warming” effects. Of course, it’s also just a darn good pudding recipe, so good you’re going to have a hard time putting down that spoon.
Some important notes on making homemade pudding
Puddings are great desserts because they’re so satisfying and so easy to make. The ingredients in this dessert recipe are pretty straightforward. But you’ll notice that it calls for individual spices instead of a pumpkin spice blend. There’s a good reason for it. If you buy a pre-packaged pumpkin spice mix, you don’t really know the proportion of each spice added to the blend. So to have better control over your baking, this recipe for pumpkin pudding, like most autumn baking recipes, calls for specific measures of these warming spices. So instead of buying pumpkin pie spice, invest in all the delicious baking spices of nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon.
Making pudding is so simple. It just takes a lot of stirring and a little patience. You basically just whisk together all your ingredients in the pan and cook until they thicken. The trick is to just keep whisking, pretty much constantly, to ensure a smooth and deliciously creamy texture. (Note that in this pudding you do not add the vanilla extract until after the pudding is cooked and strained.) Then you just have to patiently wait the two hours until your cooled pudding is ready to eat. What could be easier?
Note that I like to make a batch of fresh whipped cream while the pudding is cooling. Nothing beats a dollop of whipped cream on top of a dish of homemade pudding!
You do need a little bit of special equipment to make this holiday pudding recipe. First of all, you’ll need a good, medium-sized saucepan and a whisk. If you do a lot of cooking, you’ll already have these. But if you don’t, invest in something that will last you a lifetime. I recommend this pan from All-Clad. It’s what I use in my own kitchen. Whisks won’t last a lifetime but one with a grippy handle is useful.
When to serve this indulgent pumpkin dessert
You might be wondering if you can serve this pudding as an alternative to traditional pumpkin pie. YES! This dessert makes a great option for anyone burnt out on the traditional Thanksgiving dessert. But don’t think of this as just a dessert to serve only at this holiday meal.
About the sexy spices and serving pudding on date night
As I mentioned in the introduction, this just might be a recipe for romance. First of all, it might sound weird, but pumpkin is an aphrodisiac food. In addition, the spices featured in this pumpkin’s complex flavor are called the warming spices. This includes cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. They are all, of course, historically aphrodisiacs.
Despite all the sexy ingredients, this pudding has a flavor and texture the whole family will love. So, serve the pumpkin pudding dessert to your lover as a midnight snack or make a big batch for a family reunion. Whenever you decide to make some puddin’ is the right time!
Pumpkin Pie Pudding
- 1 3/4 cups half and half
- 1 3/4 cups whole milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 15-oz can unsweetened, solid-pack pumpkin
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- whipped cream for serving** optional
- In a medium saucepan vigorously whisk together all of the ingredients except for the vanilla.
- Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, 10 minutes. (Once you can lift the whisk from the pudding and it leaves a faint shadow, it’s done.)
- Strain the pudding through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing pudding through sieve with a ladle (using a ladle here really helps separate the pumpkin solids from the silky pudding ). Whisk in vanilla.
- Cool at room temperature for 10 minutes, press a layer of plastic wrap onto the surface of the pudding, and chill completely in refrigerator, 2 hours.
**I like to make fresh whipped cream as a topping for this (or any) pudding.
Recipe excerpted from PUDDIN’ by Clio Goodman Copyright © 2013 by Clio Goodman. Excerpted by permission of Spiegel & Grau, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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