Steamed pumpkin pudding makes a sweet addition to the autumn table, especially if you're looking for a change from the usual pumpkin pie. But, really, why not have both? Making it in the slow cooker frees up the oven and stovetop for other things.
Steamed puddings are something I've always done in the oven, though they're probably more often made on top of the stove. Since getting a 6-quart oval slow cooker, I've been having fun developing new recipes and adapting some of my old recipes for it.
Steamed puddings and their traditional accompaniments, hard sauce and custard sauce, are part of my British heritage; and I like to trot them out during the fall and winter months especially. If I were using a deep basin or mould as my mother did, I'd have to steam the pudding in a deep pot on the stove. But a 2-inch deep 7-inch cake tin fits nicely in my slow cooker.
What desserts are you trotting out for autumn and winter?
Steamed Pumpkin Pudding
(Makes 6 servings)
1/2 cup raisins
3 tablespoons brandy, rum or hot tea
1 dip-and-sweep cup (5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 In small bowl, soak raisins in brandy, rum or hot tea for 30 minutes to plump them.
2 Butter well and lightly flour a 2-inch deep 7-inch round cake tin. In small bowl, whisk together flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.
3 In medium bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg, then pumpkin puree, followed by the vanilla and milk. Stir in the flour mixture followed by the nuts and raisins. Turn into buttered tin and cover tightly with foil.
4 Place rack in bottom of cooker, and add water to just below the rack (that's about 2 1/2 cups in the Cuisinart MSC-600 Multicooker). Set the pudding on the rack. Put the lid on the slow cooker. Set to Slow Cook on High for 2 1/2 hours; do not lift lid.
Note: Your slow cooker might cook slower or faster, so you might want to check the pudding for doneness after 2 hours the first time you make this. Don't remove the foil, just make a little hole in the center of the foil with toothpick or skewer.
Stovetop: Place a rack in bottom of pot large enough to hold the pudding tin. Pour enough boiling water into pot to almost touch bottom of rack. Place pudding mold on rack. Bring to boil over high heat, cover pot and reduce heat to medium-low. Steam pudding, adding more boiling water as needed, until pudding is browned and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 2 hours.
5 Remove the pudding to wire rack, remove foil and let pudding stand 15 minutes before unmolding onto a small platter. Slice and serve warm with whipped cream, hard sauce or, my favorite, Custard Sauce.
6 While pudding is steaming, make Custard Sauce. If you prefer your Custard Sauce cold, make it several hours or up to 2 or 3 days ahead.