While wandering around in the grocery store, wondering what to make for Halloween, I discovered these beautiful little pumpkins from Escalon, California (Danny's Fall Harvest "Wee Bee Little" pumpkins). I remembered having read somewhere the instructions on how to bake a whole pumpkin and decided then and there to see if I could bake a few of them, then fill them with Pumpkin Pudding. This is the way things went . . .
Step 1: INSTRUCTIONS - DAY 1 (It Will Take 2 Days to Complete This Recipe)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Begin baking the Little Pumpkins:
- Scrub 4 little Pumpkins under running water; then dry them and place them on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. (I decided that my pudding recipe would make just enough pudding to fill 4 pumpkins).
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until you can insert a sharp knife into the pumpkin shell (baking time will vary depending on your oven, and on the actual size of the little pumpkins). (When you insert a knife into the pumpkin to see if it is done, insert it about 3/4 to 1" from the stem, since you are eventually going to remove the "cap" or top of the pumpkin. You do not want to puncture the body of the squash because you will fill that later with pudding).
While the Pumpkins are baking, Make the pudding using the following ingredients:
- 1/2 cup Splenda
- 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground Cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground Nutmeg (grind fresh if you have whole nutmegs)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground Ginger (I used paste that I keep in the refrigerator)
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1 can (15.oz.) 100% Pure Pumpkin (pureed Pumpkin; NOT Pumpkin Pie fillilng)
- 3/4 can (about 9 fl. oz.) Lowfat 2% Evaporated Milk
- 1/4 can (about 3 fl. oz. Coconut Milk (the Canned Coconut milk; something like Leche de Coco)
Before continuing with the pudding recipe, you might want to test the Pumpkins baking in your oven to see if they are done. If they are, Remove them from the oven and place them on a rack to cool enough for you to remove the caps, pulp and seeds. LET THE OVEN TEMPERATURE DROP TO 350 Degrees F.
Continuing with the pudding:
- Mix the sugar, salt, and dry spices in a small bow.
- Beat the Eggs in a large bowl. Stir in the Pumpkin, ginger paste if using, and the sugar and dry spice mixture. Gradually blend in the Evaporated Milk and the Coconut Milk.
- Pour the pudding mixture into a glass or ceramic baking dish and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until a knife inserted in to the center of the pudding comes out clean (IE., the cuts you see in the center of my baked pudding). (Baking time will vary depending on your oven and the depth of the pudding in the baking dish. My pudding mix filled the dish about an 1 1/2" deep, and it took about 45 minutes to bake until a thin knife inserted in the center of the dish came out clean)
- Remove the pudding and place the dish on a rack to cool.
- The Pumpkins should now be cool enough for you to handle them. Slice off the caps (tops) with a thin serrated knife. Try to cut a nice, neat, circle around the top of the little pumpkin, about 1" to 1 1/2" below the stem (I waited a little too long, and my baby pumpkin shells had become brittle. As you can see from the photos, my cuts were not even and I did crack some of the shell).
Scoop the seeds and pulp out of the center of the shells and discard. Retain and refrigerate the Pumpkin "caps" for use during the final stage of preparation.
Place the hollow Pumpkin shells in a large zip-lock plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.
Cover the cooled dish of Pumpkin Pudding with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
TO BE CONTINUED THE NEXT DAY . . .
Step 2: INSTRUCTIONS - DAY 2
- Remove the Pudding and the Pumpkin shells from the refrigerator.
- Wipe the surfaces of the Little Pumpkins dry with paper towels, and use a paper towel to soak up any moisture that may have formed on top of the pudding.
- Divide (score) the pumpkin mixture into 4 portions and fill each of the Pumpkin Shells with 1/4th of the Pudding.
- If serving immediately, top with whipped cream and place a "cap" at an angle over each shell as pictured. (The whipped cream will quickly loose shape, so wait until the last minute to use it).
- *Decorate and serve.
- *I had actually hoped to be able to find some really cool Halloween decorations to "stick" into the Pudding-filled Pumpkin Shells, but I could not find anything that suited me. Let your imagination lead you through this final step!
Step 3: TIME FOR DESSERT . . .
I hope you enjoy your dessert as much as I do making it!
- "Only the knife knows what goes on in the heart of a pumpkin." Simone Schwarz-Bart"
Step 4: NUTRITION
Nutrition for this recipe has been calculated using the MyFitnessPal Recipe Analyzer.