You may have noticed that what you see there is not pumpkin pie. That's because I decided to try something different this year and go for a pumpkin cobbler. Why not, right?
Turns out, pumpkin cobbler is excellent. So, here's how you make it. Or rather, here's how I make it, because I've discovered that, while I'll go for the for-serious from fresh ingredients while cooking, I tend towards the quick-and-dirty approach when baking, and this involves processed ingredients. Feel free to go all from-scratch gourmet all over this thing, if you want* -- I'm sure you'll be rewarded with some excellent results. But the way I made it, it takes only 15 minutes prep time. Can't beat that with a stick.
1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Make cobbler crust:
- 1 box yellow cake mix (set aside 1 c. for topping, step 4)
- 1/2 c. butter, softened at room temperature
- 1 egg
3. Make filling:
- 1 large can pumpkin
- 1 can condensed milk or evaporated milk (the former will be sweeter; either one can be a low-fat version if you want)
- 3 eggs
- 2/3 c. (packed) brown sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
4. Make topping:
- 1 c. reserved cake mix
- 2-3 Tbsp butter
- 1/4 c. (packed) brown sugar
- pumpkin pie spice to taste
Remove pan from oven and cool at room temperature for an hour before cutting (I think that 15 portions is about right for this size of a pan, but YMMV).
And now, between snapping that picture, and editing this post, I've already finished my piece this morning. And it was everything I'd hoped it would be.
[UPDATE: Historiann has tried this out using stewed fresh pumpkin, to rave reviews, though she finds it a bit on the sweet side, and decided that next time she'll use less sugar in the crumble. True enough: the cake mix used for the crumble has its own sugar, so you may not need to add more, but you'll likely want to add a tablespoon or two of flour instead to get the right texture. I also found that using condensed milk instead of the evaporated milk gave the filling a slightly fluffy texture, which I liked, but it did make it extra-sweet, so I'll probably reduce the filling sugar by half.]
*Fresh pumpkin? Cream rather than canned milk? Make your own batter for the crust? Grate in some fresh ginger? It's all good.
**The picture above makes it look like I patted the crust into the bottom and sides of the pan. I didn't. It would actually be impossible to do that, because you're working with a thick batter rather than a dough. But somehow, mysteriously, the crust creeps up the sides during the baking stage. I always knew that baking involved a lot of chemistry; now I see that physics also plays a role. Amazing.