Pumpkin Dessert

The Covered Dish

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I got a nice email from my friend, Linda, reminding me about potato cakes (earlier column) in Ireland. Of course, potatoes are prominent in Ireland, and every wife to be, best know how to make ‘Boxty’, which is the same dish as potato cakes here in America. It reminds me once again how many of the foods we enjoy, originated in other countries first. Including the influence of the potato cakes/’Boxty’ during the great depression. Thanks for sharing that story last week, Linda!

I’m starting to think I’ve slipped back to the 1980’s in the past month to six weeks. I keep featuring recipes that were prominent in this era. Today I’m sharing a version of a multi-layered dessert that made its debut in the mid 1980’s. I had just started teaching in the early 80’s and some of my seniors were graduating. I was invited to many graduation parties and this dessert was served at many of the gatherings. Two weeks ago, I also made a cherry salad based on cherry pie filling and Eagle Brand milk. It too was at many of the graduate buffets in the 80’s. I’m beginning to wonder what recipe is going to pop back next, from this era.

Since graduations were normally the spring, I usually enjoyed this recipe with a chocolate or a lemon filling. But for fall the pumpkin is just perfect. In fact, I don’t want to tell my husband, Ervin, I’m sharing this dish because it’s one of his all-time favorites. I may have to make him this, in the near future, and approach it with a low-sugar version, which is possible. The recipe is filled with plenty of guidelines and suggestions for you.

This weekend wrapped up another move for our OACAC offices. I thought two years ago we were in our forever home, but it wasn’t to be. My entire family helped the office move over the weekend. Everyone is pretty exhausted this evening and ready for some down-time. I keep making lists to go pick up one thing or the other. Tomorrow the staff will be picking out flooring, and trying to put the office back together one more time. The best part of all this is looking forward to a 3-day weekend this coming week! We will be heading to Fort Scott, Arkansas to celebrate a ‘first’ birthday party with our family.

If you’re going to make one of these desserts, why not make 2 and take one to the office, Bible study, meetings or the neighbors! With that said, this very tired ‘office mover’ is ready to embrace her pillow. Enjoy the beauty that surrounds us, friends. Simply yours, The Covered Dish.

Layer Dessert Pumpkin

Crust
1 cup ground ginger snap crumbs
1/4 cup roasted pecans
1/4 cup melted butter

Cream Layer
8 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/3 of the ‘Fall Whipped Cream’ recipe, below

Pumpkin layer
1 (3-3.5oz.) package instant pumpkin pudding
1 3/4 cups half and half

Fall Whipped Cream, divided
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 teaspoons maple flavoring/extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Melt butter and mix into the pecans and ginger snap crumbs. Sprinkle into the bottom of an 8 x 8 baking dish and pack down. At this point you can bake the crust if you desire, however; I have found that it also works nicely without the baking process. The bake time would be 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, should you choose to bake the crust.

Move to the pumpkin layer next, preparing the pudding as directed on the box, using the half and half as indicated, for the dairy. Mix and allow to firm.

Prepare the fall whipped cream with a mixer. As the whipped cream begins to firm, gradually add the powdered sugar and flavoring. Whip until peaks hold firmly. Set to the side momentarily.

Prepare the cream layer by thoroughly softening the cream cheese and mixing in the powdered sugar. Lastly, using a soft spatula fold in one-third of the whipped cream recipe, to complete the layer. Carefully spread over the crumb crust.
Usually, you can move right on to the pumpkin layer placing it carefully over the cream mixture. However, if desired you could refrigerate or even freeze the cream portion, for a ‘short’ while to firm up the base, before applying the pumpkin layer.

To complete spread the remaining whipped cream over the pumpkin layer. For a topping there are many ideas. Sprinkle additional ginger crumbles over the top or even a portion of a cookie into each serving. Chopped pecans sprinkled or candied nuts, over the top. Refrigerate until serving time.

This is a rich dessert, so large pieces aren’t really necessary. Expect to serve
6-8 persons from an 8 x 8 pan.

If you remember this dessert you will recall it gained great popularity in the 1980’s. There were so many versions of the format: chocolate, lemon, cherry, banana, coconut etc. Every function you attended layered desserts seemed to be present.

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