Farmers Market Kitchen: Craig Claiborne's Pumpkin Pudding | Bite Club

Farmers Market Kitchen: Craig Claiborne's Pumpkin Pudding


How to handle a pumpkin?! - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • How to handle a pumpkin?!
I've had a pumpkin (from Shelburne Farms) in my pantry since September. And now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it seemed like high time to use it. I wanted to do something more original than pumpkin pie or bread, so I flipped to the index of Craig Claiborne's The New York Times Cookbook, published in 1961, and looked up "pumpkin."

Aside its really thorough index (an advantage of most old cookbooks), the most wonderful thing about the late Times critic's seminal work is that most of the recipes are pretty foolproof, and they don't call for esoteric ingredients or equipment. Anyone with an oven, a hand mixer and a set of mixing bowls can make this stuff.

In the "Puddings, Custards and Other Desserts" section, Claiborne offers an old-fashioned, soufflé-style pumpkin pudding, and I had to make it. I updated the seasonings just a little (swapped out his cloves for my allspice and added a splash of fragrant bitters) but kept the bones of the recipe the same.

Pumpkin pudding, on a plate with cream! - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • Pumpkin pudding, on a plate with cream!
Craig Claiborne's Pumpkin Pudding
Serves 12-16


For the pudding: 
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh pumpkin, seeds removed, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 4 eggs, yolks separated from whites
  • 3/4 cup light cream
  • 3 tablespoons rum (Dunc's Mill Elderflower Rum gives the dessert a lovely floral note) or blended whiskey 
  • Splash Angostura bitters
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 shakes each: nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice
  • Butter, for the pan
For the cream:
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rum
  • 1 drop bitters
  1. Boil the pumpkin in water until soft. Drain off the liquid, then submerge the cooked pumpkin in cold water. Scoop the flesh from the rind. Discard the rind and press the pumpkin flesh against the side of the pan, straining off the liquid to remove as much water as possible. Mash until smooth and reserve.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the yolks until they are canary yellow and thick. 
  5. Combine the cream, liquor, bitters, sugar and spices; whisk until smooth and combine with the egg yolks in the large bowl. Fold in the egg whites, turning gently until everything is evenly combined. You want to keep as much air in the pudding as possible; the final mixture should be bubbly and a little frothy. 
  6. Pour the mixture into a buttered soufflé dish, large muffin tins (for single servings), or deep 2-quart baking dish and bake for 40-45 minutes until the top is puffy and golden brown. 
  7. When the pudding has about 10 minutes of baking time left, whip the cream with the confectioner's sugar, rum and bitters until it forms soft peaks.
  8. Serve right away, with a hearty dollop of cream.
Pumpkin pudding, fresh from the oven. - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • Pumpkin pudding, fresh from the oven.

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