Gentle Readers, let the truth be told, The Practical Cook overslept on Thanksgiving morning. Thanks to the fabulous accommodations and hospitality of my brother and sister-in-law, I got a little staycation. SIL and I had planned the meal to be relaxed, and all of us had cooked in advance for the most part, except for the critical pumpkin element. At 11:30 AM Thanksgiving day, this recipe was born, and I’m not so modest that I won’t admit that it rocks.
Pumpkin Coconut Pudding with Cinnamon Graham Cracker Crust Recipe
This is a complete Punt! recipe, and I promise I’ll be back in the test kitchen to try other from-scratch variations. I went with coconut instant pudding, but plan to try it again with butterscotch. Seriously, it’s no-fail, and everyone liked it.
1 dozen cinnamon graham crackers, crushed into crumbs (recommend using a food processor, but brute strength works in a pinch; I used Trader Joe’s here, which taste like sunlight and autumn)
1/2 stick salted butter (this is flexible, go a little lighter if you’re feeling queasy about a butter bomb)
1 box coconut instant pudding (I used Jell-O brand for this one)
1 can evaporated milk (regular milk would work, but will be less rich)
1 can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling, just plain pumpkin)
1 generous teaspoon Trader Joe’s pumpkin pie spice (I specify because I actually think it tastes better than other brands, feel free to use what you’ve got, but purchase some if you’re near a TJ’s)
a few graham crackers for topping
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and melt butter in a 8 x 8 glass or metal dish while it heats. When melted, combine crumbs and butter and press to the bottom of the pan to form a crust. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until it becomes a bit crusty.
2. Meanwhile, combine pudding, milk, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice until thoroughly mixed. Taste for spiciness. If your pumpkin pie spice is not the freshest, you may want to add more at this point.
3. When the crust is a bit crusty, remove from the oven and pour the pudding mixture over the crust, spreading evenly. Bake at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes, until it warms the ingredients, and starts to set a bit.
4. When the pudding is starting to set, crush a few extra graham crackers over the top, and bake a few minutes longer.
Serve warm or room temperature, alone or with whipped cream! Thank you to my brave relatives for trying it (considering many of them arrived in time to watch the invention process). The Eldest Practical Cook Junior had 2 helpings, and trust me, this is a mark of approval. She is not bashful with feedback.
Are you a pumpkin fan? Post your thoughts about Thanksgiving dessert in the comments section below.
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