This is a story of an old-fashioned steamed pumpkin pudding with crystallized ginger. In this version, the same dense classic once steamed or baked for an hour or longer, is popped in the microwave and baked until done, or about five minutes.
That’s right, thanks to modern technology, it takes longer to tell the tale than to bake it.
In other words, you take one mini sugar pumpkin and bake it until its meat is tender. Don’t be alarmed if you discover the pulp is stringy and more similar to a spaghetti squash.
It will puree just fine in the food processor with a little sweetened condensed milk and molasses for character. In the old days heavy cream and perhaps brown sugar were added, in this case I opt to keep it simple. Add your eggs, a little cake flour for structure, your typical pumpkin spices and lots of ginger—both powdered and crystallized.
If you’d rather, swap the candied ginger for ½ cup raisins, dates, or chopped nuts for a bit of texture and contrast; we aren’t looking for baby food here. Back in the day, they might have used bread crumbs, suet, or anything else available to keep it together and fill in the gaps.
The result: a pudding denser than your typical pie filling; one that cuts beautifully. You may be tempted to over bake it; do check it at 4 minutes. If the center is set, it is done and will continue to cook as it stands a few minutes.
Serve it warm with whipped cream or your favorite ice cream.
Old-fashioned Steamed Pumpkin Pudding, a la microwave
Source: inspired by Microwave Gourmet, Barbara Kafka
2 cups pumpkin pulp
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/3 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon ginger, powdered
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons crystallized ginger, chopped
Prepare the pumpkin. Cut it in half, remove seeds, and place in microwaveable dish. Add water to bottom of dish to cover, seal with plastic wrap and bake for about 7 minutes or until pulp is tender. Remove any seed fibers from top and scoop out the pulp, you will need 2 cups. Set aside.
- In food processor puree the pumpkin with sweetened condensed milk until silky. Add the molasses and vanilla.
- Melt the butter in microwaveable 1-quart soufflé dish or equivalent. Spread it over the interior and pour any residue into the pumpkin mixture. Add the eggs and process.
- Sift the flour and spices and add to pumpkin with salt and process to combine. Add the ginger and process briefly.
- Pour into soufflé dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave for 4 minutes. Press the center, if it is firmly set, remove from oven. If not, microwave an additional minute at a time until center is set. Carefully remove wrap and cover with a plate for 10-15 minutes. Unmold, or slice and serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream. Serves 6.