Ahhh pumpkin season! It’s one of the best flavors of fall for most of us, and it’s one that I actually keep sacred for this season alone. That way it remains something special to look forward to. And in my case, probably overdo.
Every fall I make a few traditional pumpkin pies, because my husband likes them the best, and we both love a good pumpkin pancake on a cozy Saturday morning. There’s nothing like the smell of them cooking, combined with a freshly brewed pot of coffee. But every year I try new pumpkin recipes and here’s one I made recently that was a nice cold, ‘whippy’ version of a dessert that I think I’m going to have to make again before this season is over.
I know that it’s so much easier to Google “pumpkin recipe” and see what yummy things show up online, but I am a lover of a good ol’ fashioned cookbook. If I have to wait too long in a grocery store checkout line, it’s almost a guarantee that I’ll end up taking a cooking or baking magazine home with me. I have a large collection of beautiful cookbooks at home and I never get bored of them. I have a few pretty cookbook holders that I keep on my kitchen counter at all times, with a gorgeous glossy book or magazine sitting on it, with the next sweet or savory dish I’m going to make. Then it stares at me, smiling at me, laying in wait until I finally make it come to life. My rule at home is that I like to cook or bake one new, or sort of special thing, every week. To challenge myself to be better in the kitchen, and keep my men happy and well fed! And it’s usually fueled by my cravings. It’s never ending.
I bought this Libby’s pumpkin recipe book while I was standing in line, grocery shopping a few years back. I haul it out every year and it stays out until after Thanksgiving, when my Christmas books replace it. It’s a basic, ‘anyone can make every single dish inside of it’, type of magazine.
My family was coming over and I wanted something I could make the day before, keep in the fridge and serve as a cold dessert, along with a pumpkin pie as a second choice. “Would you like the pumpkin dessert, or the pumpkin dessert”? Oh, and we’re German, so obviously there has to be more than one dessert offered. It would be a scandal not to.
I chose this Dulce de Leche Pumpkin Cream Pie, to go along side my pumpkin pie.
I’ve mentioned before that when I’m baking, I never stray from a recipe, but I did with this one. Mainly because there’s no baking involved and I felt like everything listed was incredibly sweet and chalk full of sugar, so any sugar substitution would make no difference. I feel like I’m right on that. I made two blatant changes – I chose not to use graham crackers for the crust. I used ginger snap cookies instead. And when I went grocery shopping, my local store DID NOT HAVE DULCE DE LECHE. I had to shout in big loud capitals because that’s what I felt like doing when I couldn’t find it. I was pretty disappointed. I bought a good brand of caramel sauce to substitute. Which was fine. But it wasn’t.
Here’s how mine turned out!
I put my gingersnaps in a ziploc bag and used a rolling pin to crush them up very finely. I added them to a bowl and added my melted butter. I didn’t take a photo of this unfortunately, but I’m sure you know how that comes together.
Then instead of using canning jars (I only had really large ones!), I used some pretty ramekins instead. You can’t see the layers unfortunately, but they still look cute. I pressed my crusts into each. I went a bit thick on my crust and it filled 6 ramekins. I’m sure you could go thinner with it and get the full 10 servings as the recipe says.
Here’s my caramel substitution. I really, really wish I would have had Dulce de Leche, but I bought a better brand of caramel sauce in place of it. We all lived.
I drizzled each crust with the caramel sauce. Oh, and can we all say CARE-A-MELL? And not CAR-MULL? If I order something with added caramel in a coffee shop or someplace, I notice the person (like 9 times out of 10!!) will repeat back with “with car-mull? Sure!”. I will often repeat back, “Yes, that’s right, care-a-mell please!” I know. I need to let it go. But its care-a-mell! (Don’t ever get me going with Realtor vs ‘Realator’).
And then of course my best helper was not going to miss an opportunity to squeeze sticky stuff out of a bottle, so I let him finish off the task. Look at that concentration. And those muscles! Look out ladies.
We got all 6 ramekins filled and set them all aside. Time for the filling!
Judah helped me stir in the dry ingredients with the pumpkin.
Then stirred a little more with the evaporated milk.
Then we got the big guns out, and gave it a real good whippin’!
The recipe then called to fold in some cool whip, but I decided to make about 2 cups of whipping cream from scratch. I whipped that separately and then folded it in until just barely combined. I like to see a few streaks of the cream through the orange of the pumpkin. I think it makes a person know what they’re getting that way. Pumpkin, but nice and creamy!
I then spooned the filling into each of the 6 ramekins, until they were full.
As this recipe makes 10 smaller servings (as opposed to my large 6!), I did have a little left in my mixing bowl that I kept aside. I put it in the fridge on it’s own, and ate it later that night. Shame. Hey, I HAD to try it before I served it to people the next day. That’s what I call quality control friends. I covered these with plastic wrap and threw them in the fridge until the next day.
The next day my Mum made another batch of fresh whipping cream for the topping for me. Just before serving, I spooned some on each ramekin. My Mum commented that I should be using a piping bag here so that it would look pretty. I think she was right, but I wouldn’t dare admit this. She is a baker-extraordinaire. Me, not so much. Hers would have looked like a perfect, magazine worthy dessert, that was almost too pretty to eat. (#mumgoals) I’m just going for “rustic” here.
Then I crushed up a few more gingersnap cookies and sprinkled them on, haphazardly obviously, and then added a little cinnamon. I think I was trying to get a little fancy to compensate for the lack of ‘fancy lady piping’ with my whip cream.
But they were yummy. Cool, whippy, creamy, and the gingersnaps really gave them a lot of extra big flavor. Enjoy this pumpkin filled season friends, and savor every bite.
And if you are heading out for Halloween festivities tonight, or passing out candy at home to all those cute little trick-or-treaters, have a safe and exciting night! You can keep the weird, “I have had these gross things since last year” hard candies for yourself, and save the chocolate for me.
– The Homesteaders Wife