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Pumpkin Cobbler

With Apple Cider and Pecans


The mornings are much cooler now, the inspiration for something vigorous outdoors or snuggling on the couch with the dog and a good read. With a low fire in the wood stove to take the chill from the house, I usually take the dog for a good long walk in the forest and let him sniff around to find out who’d been in his territory overnight. The corn in the neighbor’s field not harvested, bitten by the frost, has lost its green and become a drab straw-like color. Only the crows find it delightful. Between the rows are a few pumpkins still clinging to their long dead vines signaling the end of the local harvest season.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I’m beginning to be excited at the holidays ahead with the gathering of family and friends. It’s all coming up so fast. As much as I enjoy the holidays and great food, I like to keep things simple, more streamlined. The recipes I choose are easier for there are numerous dishes to prepare. That said, I’d better start planning and purchasing for the feast ahead!

The aforementioned pumpkins made me think of pies, cakes and puddings. While in professional kitchens, I came across a curious recipe for pumpkin cobbler. I thought it might be like a peach cobbler with sugared fruit on the bottom, a biscuit dough or cake batter on the top. This is one of those “impossible” recipes that, on the surface, make no sense. It consists of a relatively stiff pumpkin batter spread in a casserole then a sweetened hot water bath poured on the top. It is then baked and what was on the bottom becomes the top and a rich pumpkin caramel pudding resides on the bottom. It is a delightful surprise and a nice addition to the holiday dessert sideboard. It also fits my criteria for an easily made and satisfying dish. In this recipe you’ll see that I’ve substituted apple cider for the hot water bath.


Ingredients for the batter:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice

  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin purée (not pie filling)

  • 1/4 cup half & half, or milk

  • 1/4 cup melted butter

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Ingredients for the topping:

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1 cup pecan halves, coarsely chopped

  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider

Method for the batter:

  • Sift the dry ingredients together in a good sized bowl

  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients until well blended

  • Dump the wet mix into the dry and fold together just until blended. Do not over mix

  • Pour the batter into a buttered nine inch casserole or deep dish pie plate and spread evenly to the edges

Method for the topping:

  • Sprinkle the brown sugar and pecans evenly over the top of the batter

  • Heat the apple cider to a simmer

  • Pour the cider gently over the batter, do not stir

  • Bake at 350F degrees for 35 to 40 minutes

  • Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack

The toothpick test doesn’t work here. You just have to trust the method. It is supposed to be very wet underneath

If you’ve never made one of these upside down impossible desserts, please give it a try. It’s easy and tasty and served with ice cream (pumpkin or vanilla) it is sure to be a hit. Don’t like pecans? Leave them out or substitute with walnuts or almonds. For a larger crowd, just double or triple the recipe and the casserole. It’s nearly fool proof.