Sunday, October 19

Pumpkin Pie Pudding with Candied Pecans and Freshly Whipped Cream

pumpkin pie pudding with candied pecans and freshly whipped cream

Pumpkin pie has been typecast. It always plays the same role: The Thanksgiving Day Dessert.

This is unfortunate because pumpkin pie has great range and versatility. In addition to being a great lead, it's a talented supporting player too. Think of the possibilities: pumpkin pie muffins, pumpkin pie cheesecake, and my favorite, pumpkin pie pudding.

Every year, weeks before Thanksgiving, I would anticipate my mom's pumpkin pie: a light, flaky crust filled with sweet, custardy, walnut studded, spiced pumpkin. The only thing better than a slice of her pie on Thanksgiving Day with a dollop of whipped cream was a slice of her pie the next morning for breakfast. To me, nothing beats chilled pumpkin pie.

So it wasn't unusual when one fall day a couple of years ago, I had a serious hankering for my mom's pumpkin pie that couldn't be satisfied. Sure, I could have called her for the recipe, but it never would have tasted as good, and buying one was out of the question. I reluctantly decided to make vanilla pudding with pumpkin pie spice instead. It was so good that the next time I made it, I added canned pumpkin and nuts. After several more experiments and many happy mouthfuls later, I present Pumpkin Pie Pudding with Candied Pecans and Whipped Cream.

This pumpkin pie pudding is ideal for those of you who don't have the time or the desire to make pumpkin pie from scratch. It's a deliciously fast, easy, and satisfying fall and winter dessert that can be whipped up in no time. I find pumpkin pie spice (a mixture of allspice, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg) is the easiest and surest way to season the pudding, but feel free to experiment with any spices that suit your taste. If you really need something crust-like, then make a quick mixture of spice-laced toasted oats, nuts, and brown sugar to sprinkle on top.

Of course, you could still have traditional pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving Day. But if you can't wait until then, make yourself a batch of this rich and creamy pumpkin pie pudding. You won't be disappointed.

Pumpkin Pie Pudding with Candied Pecans and Freshly Whipped Cream
Makes 4 small or 2 large servings
Print recipe only here.

2 cups whole or low fat milk
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
a pinch of salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Candied Pecans:
2 tablespoons unsalted pecan halves
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
pinch of salt

Whipped Cream:
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar

Combine sugar and cornstarch in a medium pot over medium heat. Add 1 cup of milk, whisking until the sugar and cornstarch are dissolved. Add the second cup of milk and salt, and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Lower the heat, cooking pudding for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove pudding from heat for 2-3 minutes. Lightly whisk one egg with vanilla extract; slowly add to the pudding, whisking constantly. (Removing it from the heat will prevent the egg from cooking). Stir in the pumpkin and pumpkin spice. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until thick, stirring several times. Remove from heat and place in serving dishes.

Before you make the candied pecans, lay a piece of tin foil coated with cooking spray on the counter. Also coat your utensil with cooking spray so the sugar won't stick to it. In a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat, add the pecan halves. Sprinkle sugar and salt evenly over them. As the sugar begins to melt and coat the pecans, quickly stir them until evenly coated and lightly toasted, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and slide nuts onto the tin foil, including any sugar drippings. (Avoid browning the nuts as the sugar will taste burnt.) Let cool and harden, then chop into small pieces.

Before you begin to make the whipped cream, consider these helpful tips: Start with a deep stainless steel bowl that has been chilled in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes. Chill the beaters of the electric mixer as well. Both will help to create more volume in the cream. Once ready beat ½ cup heavy whipping cream on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Sprinkle sugar evenly over the whipped cream and beat until peaks re-form. Whipped cream can be covered with Saran Wrap and refrigerated for 1-2 hours.

You might also like:

Mom's Chocolate Pudding with Bananas and Graham Crackers

Date, Fennel, and Pistachio Scones (Heart Healthy & Low Fat!)

Dessert Risotto with Wine-Poached Figs

Tuscan Torte di Mele (Apple Cake)

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MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Yes, Yes, Yes! The crust is my least favorite part of just about any pie.

Anonymous said...

I am endlessly impressed that you have enough candied pecans after the nibbling to be able to put any on this lovely dish. And yes, I sure do agree, you get right to the good stuff of the pumpkin pie in this dish!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I'm not crazy about pumpkin, so I always keep a can of squash in my pantry to substitute in recipes like pumpkin pie. They taste so similar, and I think it would work well in this pudding recipe, too.

Anonymous said...

What a novel idea. Pumpkin pie crust. Sounds good and is probably a little better for those of us on a diet...

Susan @ SGCC said...

This is perfect! I never eat the crust anyway.

Heather said...

yum!! this looks soo good!! i love anything pumpkin flavored!! and i love pecans :) pumpkin pie is one of those dishes that makes me really nostalgic, too. it just feels like home.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That pudding looks incredibly good! Anything pumpkin Pieish has my approval ;-P! Yummy!

Cheers and have a great week,


Anonymous said...

Pumpkin pie PUDDING! Of all the myriad manifestations of pumpkin pie baked goods floating around this time of the year, this is one I haven't seen. Brava!

Ivy said...

What a lovely recipe for Thanksgiving. I liked the idea of caramelizing the pecans.

Deeba PAB said...

Enticing post as always envious of the many happy mouthfuls!! :0)

Anonymous said...

Great idea, Susan :)

Debbie said...

Sounds delicious.......perfect for this time of year.

RecipeGirl said...

I generally love pumpkin but not pumpkin pie, so this looks like a nice alternative!

Martissima said...

delightful for the time of Thea...bye
bye from Italy (^___^)

Half Baked said...

OH. MY GOD. that looks gorgeous. I can't get enough pumpkin right now:) I've got to make this!!
When my mom makes her pumpkin pie, she always has a small ramikin leftover that she cooks. I've always loved that!

Joanna said...

My roommate and I were craving something pumpkiny yesterday, so we went all out and made a pie - and had some more for breakfast this morning! It was delicious, but also a lot of work (with a made-from-scratch crust) - next time the craving hits, I'll keep this pudding recipe in mind.

Anonymous said...

Wow, pumpkin pie with no worries about a gluten-containing crust! Yippee!

Megan said...

I am sooo making this tonight! :)

Culinary Wannabe said...

Pumpkin pie is the only thing that keeps me from being completely depressed when the weather starts to get chilly!

Karen said...

I'm not a big pumpkin pie fan, so this is a great and delicious sounding alternative!

Anonymous said...

Sounds wonderful! I pour my usual pumpkin pie filling in lightly-greased custard cups, and bake them in a water bath for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. Your candied pecans would make this a special treat for my family. Thanks for the tip.

Jack Etsweiler said...

Um, I love the concept, but I ran a search in the article, just to avoid being a total idiot, and it seems that the pumpkin and the spice never make it into the pudding, am I wrong?

Jack Etsweiler said...

Oh, fine - I'll have to kill whoever wrote the FIND on my browser - of course the pumpkin and spice made it into the recipe. Never mine. Ugh.

Deborah said...

I love everything pumpkin, but I've never thought of doing pumpkin pie pudding! Sounds delicious!

Mansi said...

I think I'll be sharing your love for chilled pies! this pudding is a great idea:)

Patricia Scarpin said...

I'm not used to eating pumpkin in sweets - not many of us here are, actually - and have never tried pumpkin pie. This looks like something I'd love and ask for seconds, Susan.

Anonymous said...

Great recipe, and I agree pumpkin pie is capable of being so much more than pumpkin pie. Try these pumpkin pie cookies!

Anonymous said...

Hi - do you think this would work with apple puree too?

Maria said...

I bet the pudding is fabulous!!

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

This looked so good Susan that I had to make it right after I saw this. Can't wait to taste it!!!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

tanna-Then this is for you.

louise-Yeah, but you don't know how many pecans I ate before taking the picture. ;)

lydia-My mom makes squash pie too, which I love.

potatochef-I think you're right. :)

susan-I hardly ever do either.

heather-Aren't pumpkin and pecans fabulous together?

rosa-"Pieish" I like that. :)

stephanie-Why, thank you kindly!

ivy-Caramelizing is the fun part too.


maryann-Thanks, sweetie!

debbie-Thank you so much.

lori-It really is.

astrofiammante-Grazie! Ciao!

halfbaked-I love those small leftover pies too! :)

joanna-Hats off to you though for all that hard work!

gffg-Yay! I'm so happy to hear it!

megan-Really? Awesome!

culinarywannabe-And jack-o-lanterns. :)


frantzie-Mmm... pumpkin pie custard. I'll have to try that too! Thanks for the idea.

emujack-I added a line after I posted the recipe, but it's there now. :)

deborah-Hope you give it a try.

mansi-Chilled pies rock!

patricia-I wish you could try my mom's pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving.

hillary-I recently made pumpkin spice cookies. I love them!

anonymous-I've never actually done it before, but I don't see why not. Just be sure that it's thick, like the pumpkin puree. That may mean adding more cornstarch. You just don't want it thin like apple sauce. Let me know if you do it and it works out!

maria-It really is yummy.

Nicole said...

Now this looks different and good! Love pumpkin.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure your recipe is going to show-up on many tables this fall. How could anyone resist? What about YOU become my personal chef? :-)

Kitchen Gadget Girl said...

Susan, this sounds great!

I wonder, do you know anything about using pumpkins from pumpkin patches in recipes? I know that they can be quite watery, but I want to see if I can use the ones on my porch this year instead of tossing them out. I was thinking of baking and then straining them, do you think that would work for a recipe such as your pumpkin pudding?

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I have had a pumpkin custard recipe for a long time that I really love to make. I am going to try this with soy milk - that sounds easy and delicious.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Susan, You're brilliant! I would never even miss the crust with this!

Helene said...

All you have to say is Candied Pecans and I am there! Love this twist on a classic!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

nicole-Thanks so much!

zen-Aw, you're sweet. :)

gudren-I think you could use fresh pumpkin, but as I suggested to someone else who emailed me the same question, my main concern is it being too watery. Roasting the pumpkin may help. Also, you may have to use more cornstarch as a thickening agent. I haven't used fresh pumpkin myself. So, please, let me know if it works out.

tw-Mmm... how about I try some of your pumpkin custard?

marie-Aw, thanks, my dear.

helen-Me too!

Katy said...

oh my goodness -- i haven't been to your blog in a while and everything looks amazing! the smoothie looks delicious, this looks like such an awesome new pumpkin recipe, and dorito-like mac and cheese?!? are you kidding me?!?

ExpatChef said...

I would eat pumpkin pie EVERY DAY. Thanks. I have 100 pounds of heirloom pumpkin waiting to be cooked.

Elly said...

Ohhh yes, definitely making this one. I am a bit of a pumpkin freak. :)

Anonymous said...

The recipe looks a lot simpler than I expected. I will definitely be trying this!

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! That sounds so delicious - we don't eat pudding quite as often as we should! :-)

Nic said...

I would love to eat this, those candied pecans are perfect!

Anonymous said...

I will definitely be trying this recipe either this weekend or next weekend because my fiance LOVES anything with pumpkin in it. This sounds awesome!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

katy-Welcome back, and thanks!

expatchef-100 pounds? Holy moly!

elly-Good. So am I. :)

jude-It's really simple.

katy-Pudding is such a fun food.

nic-I could eat just the pecans!

justin-I hopes she enjoys it then!

Jeanne said...

Mmmmm, pumpkin pie ANYTHING!! I'll let you into a little secret - I made pumpkin pie muffins (well, with butternutm that is!) for my WTSIM entry, to be posted soon and they were glorious! I am also slightly addicted to (evil, evil) Starbucks' pumpkin pie spice latte. I feel so dirty after I've had one... but so satisfied. Call me shallow!!

Anonymous said...

The Boere way of preparing pumpkin is to load it with butter and sugar and serve it with meat. One thing I haven't gotten my head around yet is serving pumpkin for pudding, which I really should give a go sometime, because your dessert looks delicious.