Today I got the best compliment.
The (Not So) New Girl said I don’t seem like someone who is living half out of storage, and half out of her real stuff.
Or something to that effect.
Which is so kind.
Now, let’s take a minute and recognize that my needs are being met in someone else’s home right now, so it’s not like I have to microwave Cup O Soup for dinner every night, and twirl it with a plastic fork, all whilst zipping up a tent in a nearby clearing. Quite the opposite, in fact. But it’s true, I’m not in my own space, and I’m happy to give off every appearance that I’m holding it together anyway.
One of the ways I do that is by baking as much as possible. With dinner taken care of for me most nights, it’s the only cooking I do these days. It’s therapeutic.
And on this day, it was for a beloved coworker, who is moving onward and upward after six years of being one of my favorite people to see every day.
It’s October, so my sweet contribution to her farewell lunch involved pumpkin. Pumpkin Pie Crumble, to be exact. I took a slice of this, loaded it up on my plate and took a bite. Then I took another bite. Then I remembered I just don’t love pumpkin, and I was done. But other people said it was a winner, so I’ll take their word for it.
To make pumpkin pie crumble for 10, you will need:
For the crust and crumble:
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour (or use a gluten-free blend)
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 ounces butter, cold
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/8 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 ounce butter
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
For the filling:
- 1 egg
- 1/8 cup brown sugar
- 15 ounces pumpkin, canned or homemade (cook homemade down so it is similarly thick)
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350° F. To make crust, combine first 4 ingredients, then cut in 4 ounces of butter until you have split-pea sized chunks. Add the egg and combine until dough starts coming together. Dump into a greased, parchment-lined 9″ pan with removeable bottom, spread it out, and press it into the pan evenly. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until it puffs up, then settles down and browns a bit. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- While the crust is in the oven, make your crumble topping. Mix the remaining flour, sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Cut in the butter until pea-sized. Add the pecans and combine until crumble mixture is starting to clump. Set aside.
- While crust is cooling, make pumpkin filling. In a medium bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar, salt, and spices together with a whisk or spatula. Add egg and incorporate. Add milk and stir to a smooth consistency. Pour over cooled crust, and gently sprinkle the crumble evenly over the custard.
- Bake until set, about 40 minutes. Cool completely before removing from pan. You can remove the dessert from the removeable pan bottom carefully, once fully cooled, and more successfully if you’ve lined the pan with parchment.