|Points for Presentation: 10 out of 10|
Recipe adapted from Sunset magazine, c. 1980
I’m a great fan of puddings, custards, and anything pumpkin-flavored, so I was ecstatic to find a recipe for a tapioca-filled pumpkin in a Sunset magazine, given to me by a lady whose house I cleaned when I first came to Santa Cruz. I loved the way the B&W photo looked, with a sophisticated lady’s hand scooping out tapioca along with pumpkin. When I finally tried the recipe, in 1995, it tasted exactly the way I’d imagined it. And then somehow the recipe disappeared. In 2001, I had a craving for it, and a weekend when my husband, who looks askance at both tapioca and pumpkin, was away. No recipe, no problem (and no internet for hints). How hard could tapioca and pumpkin be? One small forgotten detail, however, threatened to deflate the project. Or more correctly, to inflate it.
|Serving with Whipped Cream|
|Pumpkin Can Wait if Ready Before Tapioca|
|The Fun But Scary Part (Tapioca is HOT!)|
serves 4 - 6
1 (3-4 lb.) sugar pie pumpkin
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ cup sugar or evaporated cane juice
¼ tsp. salt
3 tbsp. quick-cook tapioca
2¼ cups 2% fat milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 - 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Whipped cream or ice cream, optional garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut about a 3-inch lid for your pumpkin, like you would for a jack-o-lantern. Lift off top and cut off the inside surface to make it flat. Remove seeds and strings from pumpkin, scraping inside as clean as possible with a spoon. (Save your seeds for roasting.) You might want to measure the amount of tapioca your pumpkin will require now (see instructions above); if so, blot or scrape inside dry afterwards.
Sprinkle 1 teaspoon cinnamon into pumpkin. Turn pumpkin around and tap it to distribute cinnamon evenly. Put lid on pumpkin.
Place pumpkin into a baking dish. Pour boiling water into dish to a depth of ½ - ¾ inch. Bake at 350 degrees F. until pumpkin is somewhat tender and will “give” a little when poked, about 40 minutes.
Start making the tapioca when pumpkin has been baking for about 25 minutes. Whisk eggs in medium saucepan. Whisk in sugar, salt, and tapioca. Add milk and whisk. Set aside for 5 – 10 minutes to soften tapioca.
Heat tapioca mixture on medium high, stirring constantly until comes to a full boil. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla.
When pumpkin is somewhat tender, remove from oven and set aside.
Fill pumpkin with tapioca. Sprinkle top of tapioca with 1/8 - 1/4 tsp. cinnamon. Place lid on pumpkin and return it to oven. Bake another 30 minutes, or until pumpkin is soft and pudding is set.
Remove pumpkin from oven. Lift pumpkin out of the water and onto serving plate using two sturdy pancake turners. Let rest and cool about 20 minutes before serving.
Sunset magazine suggests that if you make this recipe before your party, wrapping up the pumpkin in a thick towel will keep it warm for about 4 hours.
|Before Final Baking: What a Pumpkin!|