Now that the temperature has dropped, it feels like the holidays are growing near. What? Thanksgiving is next week! When and how did that happen? I haven’t put away my Halloween decorations yet. That is no surprise though. I once left my Christmas decorations up until Easter.  They were so pretty I didn’t want to take them down. I finally did only because my children were beginning to wonder about “Mom’s state of mind.”

I am probably like a lot of people who have the tendency to overeat this time of the year. Sticking to the thought of “just a spoonful of this” can fill your plate and your belly up fairly quickly. And then there are the desserts. I especially like a little pumpkin pie with a lot (I mean A LOT) of whipped cream. My mom and my daughter can make the perfect pie crust, but not moi. I have never mastered a pumpkin pie with a flaky crust, it always comes out soggy.

So this year, I am avoiding the crust completely. When it comes to big meals and big holidays, I look for ease and short cuts. So get rid of the hassle of the crust and free up the oven with a slow cooker Pumpkin Pie Pudding. It makes about six to eight servings.

However, before you start cooking, check to see if your pumpkin pie spice is fresh. Last year, I used some from an old rusty can I found in the back of my pantry, and it almost ruined my recipe. Ground and/or dried spices will stay fresh for about two to three years. The vibrant color of dried and ground spices and herbs will fade as they lose their fragrance. I looked at my long expired pumpkin pie spice and it was no longer a brighter orange, but instead a sad brown.

For this recipe you will need:

•15 oz can of pure pumpkin

• 12 oz evaporated milk

•3/4 cup brown sugar

•1/2 cup biscuit/baking mix

• 2 beaten eggs

• 2 Tbls melted butter

• 2 tsp Pumpkin Spice

• 1/8 tsp cinnamon

Combine all the ingredients making sure the sugar is dissolved, then pour into a greased three, four or five quart crock pot. A six-quart tends to make the pudding too thin. Cook on low for about 3-1/2 to 4 hours or when the internal temperature of the pudding reaches 160° F. The time depends on the size and age of your slow cooker, so be sure to start checking at around 3-1/2 hours. You will see the pudding start to pull away from the sides and the center of the pudding doesn’t jiggle when you shake the cooker.

Remove the crock from the slow cooker, remove the lid, and allow to cool. 

If you put the pudding on first thing Thanksgiving morning, it should have time to cook and cool before dessert time. It can also be made the day before and kept in the refrigerator overnight. 

I used an ice cream scoop to serve into cute little dishes. I topped it with whipped cream, a sprinkle of cinnamon and toasted coconut and pecans. Some crumbled shortbread cookies or ginger snaps would be pretty tasty. too. Choose your favorite combination, or serve a variety of toppings on the side and let every one choose their own.