Fall is coming fall is coming! Or, autumn is coming autumn is coming! Either way, I’m excited. I love the changing of seasons and the different nostalgias and expectations that come with each one. Living in Italy, the nostalgia is a little bit stronger. Autumn is still autumn, but the changes are a little less distinct, and the comfort of knowing where to pick out the best pumpkins and buy the best apple cider is not something I have down pat yet. It’s not even that easy, finding the new places to do the things you’ve always done, because some things aren’t done here, or at least not in the magnitude they are in the States. Pumpkins will be few and far between, unless you’re lucky enough to stumble upon some markets that have the mini gourds; apple cider is practically nonexistent; trick-or-treating happens, but most Italians wear scary costumes instead of characters; the leaf change is not the brilliant red, orange, and yellows like in Michigan, but more of a subtle green-to-yellow with the occasional leaves fluttering down. Despite the differences with what I grew up with, there are still oodles of things I love to do to make my home fall-y and to welcome the chilly evenings. Lighting candles, brewing tea, pulling out the fuzzy socks and sweaters (even if I’d be sweating if I actually tried to wear them yet) and baking and eating lots of fall goodies that include pumpkin, cinnamon, and spices, breads, soups, and hearty autumn recipes.
Now that I’m officially feeling ready for fall after dwelling in those thoughts, what are we making? Pumpkin Pudding! It’s like pumpkin pie, but without all the fuss of the crust. This is great to make in the time leading up to Thanksgiving, because you’re not ruining your appetite for pumpkin pie (you can’t call it pie if it doesn’t have a crust, therefore, totally different) while not wasting time NOT eating pumpkin. Oh, and so, so easy.
Recipe from my mama
15 oz / 425g pumpkin purée
2/3 cup / 132g sugar
1/2 tsp / 2.5g salt
1 tsp / 5g cinnamon
1/2 tsp / 2.5g ginger
1/4 tsp / 1g cloves
1 cup / 237g milk of choice
Oven 375F / 190C. Lightly greased 8x8in / 20x20cm baking pan.
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until smooth.
Pour into prepared pan; bake for 20-25 minutes in preheated oven until edges are bubbling.
To dress this lovely and simple dessert up you can top it with confectioner’s sugar or crumbled cookies such as shortbread or Nilla Wafers, or serve with ice cream and/or whipped cream.
This recipe is gluten free, vegan (if you use a milk substitute like coconut or almond), and probably many of the other diet fads that I can’t quite keep track of. Eat up!