The Last Thing You Need: Pumpkin Gingerbread Pudding

15 years of recipes, thanks to Williams-Sonoma, Gourmet, Bon Appetit and Epicurious

Our Thanksgiving is a sprawling,  multi-state,  migratory affair.  Gathering forces and appetites from across the country, we have recently taken to flocking to my nephew’s kitchen in Evanston, IL.  There we settle in, to divide and conquer the feast. To each a favorite recipe.   
As the family has expanded, so has our nuanced turkey menu.   My husband’s specialty is the big bird, itself, prepared in a fast-roast method picked up from a recipe from “Mr. Brisket” in Cleveland.  Believe me, Mr. Brisket knows his stuff. 
The turkey being what it is, (a somewhat plain entree) I add a medley of colorful sides: a cranberry sauce laced with cherries and brandy, a red pepper ginger marmalade, and a tomatillo salsa with a poblano pepper bite.  For my son, it’s not Thanksgiving without both the chestnut dressing and the Southwest-style cornbread stuffing, so there we have too much.  My nephew takes on root vegetables with a vengeance. My cousin does a mean devil's food cake that she carries all the way on a flight from Dallas.  And my sister arrives with her husband’s favorites, a mile high key lime pie. . .and the cranberry jelly in a can.  
Heaven only knows why we add to all this a pumpkin pie, but we faithfully bake one on Thanksgiving morning, because you gotta have the pie.  It’s a tradition. 
So what could possibly be missing on our dessert table, where in one sitting and on one plate you can laden onto your meal another1000 calories of whipped, creamed, and nutted sweets?   
What else but our inimitable pumpkin gingerbread pudding? 
It’s so easy and tempting to make. Like a trifle, but not as rich. Like a souffle, but heavier.   Like a pie prepared in a cake pan, best when served slightly warm.  I’ve never seen a recipe quite like it, but  

Here's all you need:
  • A non-stick Bundt pan, well oiled and dusted with flour.
  • A ready-made gingerbread.  (The recipe  is very tolerant; bake your own from scratch, use a boxed mix or store-bought. Or get creative: Try it with pumpkin cranberry bread, or a cinnamon raison coffee cake. 
  • Your favorite recipe for pumpkin filling for a 9” pie 


Let me start with the admission that I don't follow recipes all that reliably. Cooking is like jazz to me.  Baking, on the other hand, is a science, an art that I have yet to perfect.  But this recipe has never failed me: 

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Cut gingerbread into 1” slices. Then cut slices lengthwise into 4” strips and line them up on the sides of the Bundt pan
  • Cut remaining slices into cubes and fill Bundt pan approximately half way. 
  • Pour pumpkin mixture into pan
  • Bake until pie filling rises, slightly golden, approximately  30 to 40 minutes.
  • Garnish with toasted walnuts, and powdered sugar
  • Top with whipped cream, or New Orleans-style whiskey sauce, or cranberry glaze
  • Enjoy

From our family to yours, happy Thanks-feasting. And thanks for dropping by.


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