Easy pumpkin pudding pies!
Ok you guys, I am in the pumpkin feels! I was at Kings in Florham Park the other day, and they have all the Fall inspired flavored products together on one very tempting table. I picked up a few items I could not resist, and then they sat there on my counter. I had planned to maybe try to bring something special to a sports booster club event, but I wound up driving kids around all afternoon instead of spending those hours dreaming something up with them. That seems to be the main difference between tweens and teens in our house: the teens are out and off on their own, not the younger, more likely to be up-for-a-baking-adventure kids of yesteryear.
So by Sunday, a rainy, blah day, I was able to get one kid to agree to my crazy idea, and a small amount of internet research and a miraculous find in my pantry yielded this:
Mini pumpkin pudding pies with pumpkin marshmallows and apple cider yogurt covered pretzels!
Ok. So here are the players:
The Smash Mallows and the pretzels are from the seasonal table at the grocery store. I have a bit of a backup of pumpkin puree in my pantry. It’s one of those things that I get in multiples when I’m going to make a pumpkin pie in case it is a failure, which never happens now that my oldest daughter always makes the pumpkin pie. I got the jello especially, thinking that I could do something like a chocolate pudding pie, which is an easy dessert that I always think of when I see graham cracker pie crust. I also bought those especially for this. The evaporated milk magically appeared in my pantry. It is good for a year unopened in the can, and maybe even more if you’ve got a freegan-type spirit.
This project is really easy. The presentation is very charming and it would be perfect to bring to a school party (you have one of those tomorrow, don’t you? Did you sign up to bring snacks? And then wait until the last minute to figure out what to do? I’m here for you!) or a bake sale (Pumpkin lasts beyond spooky szn.)
All you do is mix together the pudding (Instant Pudding mix) and the evaporated milk, store it in the fridge for about 10 minutes.
Then add the pumpkin (I have a carton pictured, but you can use a can as well, both are about the same amount. I would have used the whole thing, but my sous chef put about 3/4 of the container in. The taste was good but could have been more pumpkin forward.)
Then you put in pumkin pie spice. So, you’d think this would be a pantry item, but I found we were out of pumpkin pie spice. What? That is one of the things that ought to be like cream of tartar: one container lasts a life time! Nevertheless, there was no pumpkin pie spice. So I lined up the likely suspects:
Then, you put the mixture into the graham cracker crusts by spoonfuls and voila! It doesn’t need refrigeration to set, but you could do that.
Then next phase is my favorite. Sure, they looked cute, but I have some Fall flavors to put into use. I thought about making whipped cream, but that is something that should be done as the pies are served because it un-whip itself after a few minutes and drool all over the place. You can make stabilized whipped cream, but you need either powdered egg whites or gelatin, which I do not have in my pantry. It probably still would need refrigeration and very careful handling, so it’s not good for parties or bake sales.
But the marshmallows make a great topper. You can make a marshmallow frosting by adding liquid and sugar to melted marshmallows, but that seems excessive. Also messy and generally a pain. So here’s what I did. I just put a marshmallow on top of each pie and popped them in the oven for about 5 minutes.
They melted enough that I could press them down with my fingers so they almost covered the pies! I had only enough marshmallows for one per pie, but I think two would have completely covered the tops. Also, these Smash Mallows are a little stiffer than your average marshmallows, which may have been better candidates for melting.
Then there were the pretzels. How to incorporate? I decided to chop them into smaller pieces for a crumble-type effect. But then I thought that the whole pretzel was cuter, so I added one per pie as well.
That’s it! Here’s the beauty shot of the finished product!