October 24, 2011 at 12:58 pm
by Heather Eng
I really enjoy our weekly Facebook slow cooker chats. It’s so much fun to hear your questions for Michael Tyrrell, our associate food editor and slow cooker expert–as a slow cooker newbie, I find them especially interesting and informative. But my favorite part of the chats is hearing all the delicious crock-pot dishes you’re making. You’ve shared recipes for buffalo chicken, apple chops, corned beef and much more.
A few weeks ago, reader Peggy contributed instructions for pumpkin pie pudding. It sounded so simple and perfect for the season–and many of you shared it on Facebook during the chat. It stuck in my mind for a while, so I decided to try it, right in time for Halloween. Like last week, I had mixed results, which could be attributed to my slow cooker newbie errors.
I beat two eggs, then added one 15-ounce can of pumpkin, 1 can of evaporated milk, 1/2 cup Bisquick, 2 tablespoons butter, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and 2 teaspoons vanilla. (That’s the partially-beaten mix, above.) Once everything was mixed, I set my slow cooker to LOW for 5.5. hours.
Here’s slow cooker newbie mistake #1: Two hours into cooking, I realized I had forgotten to add sugar. When I opened the lid to check on the pudding, I saw that it was starting to burn around the edges. I don’t know if I made the right decision, but I stirred it and added a few dashes of cinnamon and 1/4 cup sugar. (The recipe calls for 3/4 cup, but I tend to cut the sugar in recipes.) Then I re-covered it and let it cook more.
While I was doing that, Collin found the pumpkin pie pudding recipe on Food.com. It noted that you need to coat the slow cooker bowl with cooking spray before adding the ingredients. Oops. Slow cooker newbie mistake #2: not spraying the bowl. I should have known that, too–in last week’s chat, Michael said he always does before putting anything in his crock-pot.
Three and a half hours later, the pudding was done–or so I assumed. A coating had formed on top and the sides were very brown. I was surprised at both the consistency and taste. It was thicker than I expected, almost like mashed sweet potatoes. It tasted just like pumpkin pie filling. (Which, I suppose it is, based on the ingredients.)
I didn’t love the pudding on its own. Since I didn’t have whipped cream in the fridge, I topped it with vanilla ice cream, but still didn’t find it satisfying. I think I was expecting a smoother pudding and then, upon seeing it, something with more of an actual pumpkin pie texture. But this wasn’t either. I may try scooping it into mini graham cracker crusts, chilling and topping it with whipped cream.
Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pie Pudding (from Family Circle Facebook fan Peggy)
Prep: 10 minutes
Slow Cook: on LOW for 6-7 hours (Note: I cooked it for 5.5 hours because it was starting to burn)
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
1 can evaporated milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk biscuit mix
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons vanilla
[Note: I also added a few dashes of cinnamon]
1. Coat slow cooker bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Beat two eggs until slightly frothy, then mix in pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, biscuit mix, butter, nutmeg, vanilla and cinnamon. Pout into slow cooker bowl, cover and set to LOW for 6-7 hours. Serve with whipped topping.
Readers, have you made this recipe? If so, how did your pudding come out? Was it light and smooth, or thick and heavy? Can you point out any mistakes I might have made? Let me know in the comments below. [Update: Many of you weighed in on my mistakes during this week's Facebook slow cooker chat. Thanks for all the feedback!]