Patti Bess: Ballots are counted and the winner is in
Since we will not all be together this year, I took a survey of family members so that they might have the recipes to dish up their own holiday festivities. The question was, “What was your favorite dish from Thanksgivings past?” Everyone had an equal opportunity to vote. Discussions and disagreements were many. But with a newspaper deadline looming, there was no time for a recount.
The winner was the Pumpkin Pudding/Soufflé. It appeared on the menu the year my Irish grandmother, who prepared most of our feasts, was diagnosed with diabetes. It didn’t have that much less sugar as called for in her new diet, but no meal could end until she had her dessert. Actually, this lighter dessert was a welcome change after the big meal.
My mother loved making this. It was easy; no pie crust to contend with. She would never have gone to the market, as I often do, to buy pie crust. And it actually works better if you are serving fewer people. It was also the first time my mom taught me to beat the egg whites and make the whip cream.
This year most of us will be making very different memories than the past, but it also offers more time for reflection and perhaps to enjoy the peace and simplicity of a smaller gathering.
Three eggs, separated
One tablespoon butter
One half to two thirds cup sugar
One cup pumpkin
One cup cream
One teaspoon cinnamon
One half teaspoon nutmeg and ginger
One quarter teaspoon cloves and salt
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Separate the yolks and egg whites. Beat the whites of the eggs until frothy and set aside.
Cream butter and sugar together. Add the egg yolks and blend again. Add the pumpkin, spices, and cream; mix well.
Gently fold the egg whites into the mixture. Pour mixture into a lightly greased casserole and place in a cake pan filled with about an inch of hot water.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until set. Serve warm with ginger whip cream.
Patti Bess is a freelance writer and cookbook author. She lives in Grass Valley.
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