Growing up in the 80′s and 90′s (mostly 90′s) food from “scratch” meant cake out of a box, instead of from the store, pre-made, and non pre-cooked bacon. It wasn’t just my household either. Most of my friends’ houses were this way as well. This was long after convenience foods had devolutionized the way we ate as a country, and very far ahead of the hipster locavore foodie movement. Even longer before we would see our first ironic handlebar moustaches and at home whisky mills. The whisky makers were still nerds in elementary and jr high. (AND NOW WE RULE!! MWAHAHAHAHA) I would say it was “simpler times”, but most of my food had more ingredients than my shampoo.
That isn’t to say we didn’t enjoy what we ate. It may not be what I choose to eat now, but man, at the time? Heaven.
I remember vividly this one concoction my local grocery store made and kept in the deli section. They called it “pumpkin pudding”, which meant they scooped out the innards of pumpkin pies gone rogue, and whipped with cool whip into oblivion. I used to scoop a GIANT portion of it into a bowl, and top it with even more processed whip cream. Reddi Whip was my drug of choice, due to its nozzle. If only more food came with nozzles. Hipsters, hear my cry, whipped whisky with a nozzle. I was NEVER good at keg stands, but that I can get behind. (or under) Knowing hipsters though, they’d probably make smoked salmon with a nozzle, and I’d have to punch them in their man ovaries.
Anywhoooo, this pumpkin pudding was avaliable from the beginning of October to the beginning of December, and I’d eat it like I was on death row.
One day, my MawMaw was watching my siblings and I, and she CUT OPEN THE PUMPKIN I WAS GOING TO GLITTER. I was less than pleased. Who guts a glitter pumpkin? Granted, it hadn’t been glittered yet, but I was planning on it being fab.
She proceeded to roast said squash, puree it, and beat it with so much butter, eggs, sugar, and cream, it could’ve surprised Paula Deen. I asked A: “what the heck did you do to my pumpkin, did you not know of its future fabness?” and B: “what the Hank Williams are you making?”
She told me she was making “pumpkin pudding”. I think I laughed out loud. I’m pretty sure that’s inappropriate to do to your MawMaw, but my family wouldn’t truly know inappropriate if they showed up at a wedding in stripper heels and coveralls.
She baked it in my mother’s one and only casserole dish, it was corningware with a green pattern on the front, and a glass lid. I loved that casserole. It had spirit.
The pudding puffed up like a souffle, rising to unbelievable heights. It filled the house with the smells of fall. Clove, cinnnamon, ginger and butter.
I was transported with my first bite. It was like nothing I’d ever tasted. I had never had pumpkin that wasn’t canned, and certainly never made into a baked pudding. My MawMaw just laughed at me. She told me about how she never had the option of canned pumpkin when she was first married. All pumpkin was fresh pumpkin, and I’m darn lucky to have the tinned option available.
Unfortunately, my MawMaw only made this once for me. Clearly, she likes to torture me. She just turned 90 on tuesday, though, so I guess she’s earned it. Hell, she’s earned the ability to dance in the middle of the pro football hall of fame wearing nothing but her pajamas and helmets on her feet. You know, before we put her on a raft and set her out to sea.
(I’m kidding. I swear. We’ll use a boat.)
I love making my own puddings now. I don’t make them like my MawMaw, though. I simply cannot abide by something having more butter than pumpkin. My pumpkin pudding is delicious AND healthiy. It is filling, full of fiber, and lower on sugar and fat. It’s also light as air. Trust me, you want this.
Healthy Pumpkin Pudding
healthy pumpkin pudding
Keywords: bake appetizer breakfast dessert
- 1 can pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup egg whites
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 can of evaporated milk
whip together all ingredients, save for egg whites and cream of tartar
whip egg whites to medium peaks with the cream of tartar
fold egg whites into pumpkin mix
pour into 1.5 qt souffle dish
bake at 350F for 50 minutes