Literally easier than pie, this Thanksgiving pumpkin pudding gets its crust vibe from a sprinkling of chopped pecans on top. Leave the nuts off for folks who have nut allergies or aversions. The pudding is naturally vegan and gluten free. I named it for our beautiful country and the gorgeous book Treasured Lands: A Photographic Odyssey through America's National Parks by QT Luong.
Active time: 20 minutes. Total time: 80 minutes. Serves 8. Vegan and gluten free.
Cost: 96 cents a serving using mostly organic ingredients, including canned pumpkin. Just 46 cents a serving if you use the "free" pumpkin from your Jack-o-Lantern like I did!
3 cups baked Candy Roaster or other pie pumpkin or unsweetened, canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup full-fat, unsweetened canned coconut milk (I used Thai Kitchen organic)
1/4 cup pecans, chopped (optional)
- Put dry ingredients in a food processor fitted with the stainless-steel blade and pulse to blend.
- Shake coconut-milk can, open, and stir until any lumps are fairly small. Pour 1 cup coconut milk into food processor and pulse to combine.
- Add pumpkin to food processor and process until smooth and well combined. This may take a minute or two for fresh pumpkin and 30 seconds for canned pumpkin.
- Pour pumpkin mixture into a medium pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring more often as the mixture heats up. When it just starts to boil, reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let pudding cool for 30 minutes. Pour pudding into martini glasses or other decorative containers. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 5 days.
- Serve chilled, topped with a line of chopped pecans if desired.
Tips and Notes
- I used the Candy Roaster pumpkin that I'd carved for Halloween, making this batch extra thrifty! Just bake it after Halloween, scoop out the flesh, and freeze it until you want it for pudding or pie.
- Always taste canned pumpkin before cooking with it. I recently had to throw out a batch of muffins because the organic canned pumpkin I stocked up on last year turned out to be bitter. Alas.
- Substitutions: For a lower-fat but less rich pudding, use your favorite unsweetened plant milk in place of the coconut milk. Replace pecans with your favorite local nut. Walnuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, and pistachios would all be good.
- You may be able to use this as a pie filling if you increase the corn starch to 3 tablespoons. As it is, it was delicious but too soft to hold its shape when sliced.