From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I've been known to joke that my house is always ready for company, except when it's not. A while back the phone rang at one of my most "not" moments and left me with about three hours to sanitize, beautify and cook for folks whose company we enjoy, but don't see often. In the midst of the ensuing chaos, a plan for an easy but festive meal came together. I fell back on my three fall P's of pork, potatoes and pumpkin. Years ago, I made an icebox cake that was always well received. While I had no time to make or set the cake portion of the dessert, I could make the filling and serve it as a creamy, almost mousse-like, pudding. I think you'll really like this one. It is a novel way to serve pumpkin, but it still is in keeping with the spirit of the season. I've used whole milk and heavy cream to make the dessert, but low-fat and non-dairy products can also be used. I love to serve this with my favorite Swedish gingersnaps. A crackling fire, great coffee and a brandy are also wonderful accompaniments. Here's the recipe.
Creamy Pumpkin Pudding...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
2 cups cold milk, divided
1 package (8-oz.) cream cheese, softened and at room temperature
2 packages (3.4-oz. each) instant vanilla pudding
1 can (15-oz.) pumpkin puree
...1 teaspoon ground ginger
...1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
...1/4 teaspoon ground mace
...1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
...1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
1 cup whipped cream
1) Place 1/2 cup milk in a small microwave container. Add gelatin. Allow to soften for 2 to 3 minutes. Heat in a microwave oven for about 30 seconds on high power, or until until gelatin is dissolved. Set aside.
2) Beat cream cheese in a large bowl until light and airy. Beat in dissolved gelatin, 1-1/2 cups milk, dry pudding mix, pumpkin, all of spice mix and orange zest. Beat on low speed for 2 minutes until well-blended. Fold in whipped cream. Spoon mixture into individual serving dishes. Chill for at least two hours, or until set. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
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