Recipes

Pumpkin Budino with Apples, Streusel & Brown Butter Cream

November 16, 2016

Sometimes life throws a wrench in your well thought out plans and you need to rethink everything in what Tim … refers to as a “make it work moment.”

I had one of those recently at work. I started planning my Fall dessert menu way, way, way back in July. I started testing in very early August. I was ready to go by September, when it was still technically Summer and not quite Fall. So I waited until it actually became Fall. But events happen, ideas are forgotten or plans are misunderstood and one of my desserts wouldn’t be able to live on the menu full time. I won’t get into the nitty gritty details, so I had to rethink it.

What I ended up coming up with pleases me a lot. In fact, if you were to ask me which of the 6 desserts on the menu to get, I would rank this one as #2, right behind the Spiced Pear Cake with Ginger Gelato & Apple Cider Caramel (and toffee walnuts…). The dessert I ended up with has a few components but they all come together quite easily. It’s best described as a combination of two pies in one glass.

Now, I should state that I normally try to avoid pumpkin desserts. I think pumpkin is overused and when it is, it’s not used well. Sometimes it’s just the spices used (I’m looking at you Pumpkin Spice Latte) and people get all up in arms when the realize it doesn’t actually contain pumpkin. (Side rant: It’s called Pumpkin Spice. As in the spice jar you can pick up at the grocery store. If it were Spiced Pumpkin, then I could see why you’d be upset. It it was called Apple Pie Spice Latte, would you be upset there weren’t chunks of pie floating around in your coffee? End rant.) Or, when pumpkin is used, it’s way too sweet or mixed in with other flavors where you really can’t tell it’s pumpkin. I then say, what is the point of using it? It should taste a bit like pumpkin, because if you’re covering up the flavor with a ton of sugar and a ton of spice, why are you getting upset when your realize canned pumpkin usually isn’t pumpkin?

Clearly, I have issues with pumpkin and the so-called pumpkin lovers. So while this dessert features a spiced pumpkin base (yes, spiced is before pumpkin), there isn’t a ton of sugar and spice, enough to give it that familiar, warm, Autumn hug, but not enough to cover up the flavor of the squash.

I’m realizing now I haven’t actually told you what this dessert is, unless you count the title of this post. You know there’s pumpkin in it. You also know I have issues, apparently, with pumpkin. Rather than rewrite all of this, I’ll just go with my train of thought and spell it out for you now. It’s a pumpkin pudding. Hmmm, that’s not very exciting sounding. Let me give it another shot:

Spiced Pumpkin Budino with Cinnamon Oat Streusel, Cider Braised Spiced Apples & Brown Butter Cream.

That’s better.

Spiced Pumpkin Budino with Braised Apples, Streusel & Brown Butter Cream

Like I said before, there’s a few components to this. But overall, the dish is rather easy to make. At work, I make a big batch of pumpkin pudding, a big batch of streusel and a big batch of apples. All of these keep for a while and then I can just layer everything into a glass. The cooks at night finish it off with the Brown Butter Cream, Spicy Pumpkin Seeds and a Baked Apple Chip.

Everything can be made in advance. You can make these ahead of time, layer them and you’ll have a delicious and show stopping dessert (well, I’m not exactly sure that it could be considered show stopping…but it sounds good, right?!) to serve everyone. But seriously, make it all ahead. You can make the apple chips well ahead of time and keep them in an airtight container. For days or weeks. Same goes for the pepitas. The pudding and the brown butter cream can be done maybe 3 or 4 days before. The pudding actually thickens up and benefits from the time in the cold. If the brown butter cream gets too thick, just thin it out with a little heavy cream or buttermilk. The apples will also last for a while. They’re cooked in sugar and acid and they won’t look all brown and nasty.

A few other notes, if you have leftover brown butter cream, throw it into an ice cream maker and you’ve got ice cream. If you don’t have one, just freeze it in a thin layer and then puree in a food processor and then freeze again. Leftover apple chips? Toss with whole spices and you’ve got homemade potpourri. Leftover pudding? Turn it into ice cream too. Leftover streusel? Toss it into cake or cookie batter. Or combine with pepitas and apple chips and some other tasty things you’ve got a holiday trail mix. The possibilities are endless and I could do a whole post on that. So I’ll stop and just let you run with it.

Spiced Pumpkin Budino with Braised Apples, Streusel & Brown Butter Cream

Pumpkin Budino with Apples, Streusel & Brown Butter Cream
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The best way to describe this, is that it's like having two kinds of pie in one glass. Cinnamon Oat Streusel and Cider Braised Apples are hidden under Spiced Pumpkin Pudding and topped with Brown Butter Cream, Spicy Pumpkin Seeds and a Baked Apple Chip. Make everything ahead of time.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 depending on how you layer 2 hours
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 1-2 hours
Servings Prep Time
6-8 depending on how you layer 2 hours
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 1-2 hours
Pumpkin Budino with Apples, Streusel & Brown Butter Cream
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
The best way to describe this, is that it's like having two kinds of pie in one glass. Cinnamon Oat Streusel and Cider Braised Apples are hidden under Spiced Pumpkin Pudding and topped with Brown Butter Cream, Spicy Pumpkin Seeds and a Baked Apple Chip. Make everything ahead of time.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 depending on how you layer 2 hours
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 1-2 hours
Servings Prep Time
6-8 depending on how you layer 2 hours
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 1-2 hours
Ingredients
Pumpkin Pudding
Cinnamon Oat Streusel
Cider Braised Apples
Brown Butter Cream
Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
Baked Apple Chip
Servings: depending on how you layer
Units:
Instructions
Pumpkin Pudding
  1. In a large pot, combine the buttermilk, heavy cream, salt and 1/2 of the brown sugar. Give it a whisk and turn the heat on high. Keep an eye on it, meaning don't go too far away. Heavy cream has a way of boiling over all too easily.
  2. Right after the heat is turned on, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, other half of the brown sugar and the cornstarch. Whisk until it's smooth and thick and a lot paler in color. I usually keep whisking until the liquid is ready to add. You can also whisk this in a stand mixer if you want.
  3. When the heavy cream & buttermilk comes to JUST under a boil, turn the heat off and drizzle in a little bit of the hot liquid into the egg mixture. While it's going in, be sure that you're whisking. You want to add it all in small amounts and whisk rapidly otherwise you'll end up with some scrambled eggs. If you're nervous, I'd recommend using a stand mixer. Finishing adding in the hot liquid and whisking until everything is in and combined. If you think you made some bits of scrambled egg, strain it.
  4. Pour the whisked contents back into the bot. Turn the burner on high and whisk constantly. There will be a lot of bubbles on top. This is normal. As the heat and eggs work their magic to thicken everything, the cornstarch will also be getting to work. Soon, those bubbles will give way and you'll see it's all getting very thick. Stop whisking for a couple seconds to see if it's all bubbling. If it is, keep whisking for another 30 seconds. You want to be sure to boil the starchy taste out and also make sure the heat make the cornstarch do its thing.
  5. The last step is easy. Remove from the heat. If you're worried about burning, scrape the contents into a clean bowl. But it's not necessary. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk until smooth. Chill until ready to use.
Streusel
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter, sugars and cinnamon. Attach the paddle and let it cream away. Let it go until it's nice and fluffy.
  2. Turn the mixer off and add in the flour, oats and baking soda. Mix on low speed until everything is incorporated.
  3. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Break up the dough by hand and scatter over the pan. Try not to have too many big clumps. If it feels too crowded, split the streusel up over two sheet pans.
  4. Bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes, until the streusel is browned and no longer soft and doughy. It will dry out more as it cools, so a tiny bit of softness is ok. After it's cooled break up by hand or smash with a rolling pin. Using a food processor will make it too fine.
Braised Apples
  1. Add everything to a large pot except for the apples. Bring to a boil
  2. While the liquid is coming to a boil, peel and core the apples. Cut them into a 1/4-inch dice. (I sometimes wait to start bringing the liquid to a boil until I'm at the dicing stage.)
  3. When the liquid is boiling, add the diced apples in and stir. Turn the heat down to medium and stir occasionally until the apples have started to soften. These will take about 5 minutes, maybe less, maybe more, depending on the apples you use. Don't let it go too long otherwise you'll end up with apple sauce.
  4. Find a large chunk of apple and test it. If it's holding the shape but a little soft, it's done. The residual heat will continue to cook the apples. So turn the heat off the stove. Place a strainer over a bowl and dump the contents of the pot into the strainer. Give it a stir every now and then until liquid stops dripping off. (Save both things. You can cook more apples in the same liquid or thin out with water or more cider and add it to drinks.)
Brown Butter Cream
  1. Add the butter to a small pot. Bring to a boil. And then let it keep going. It's going to sizzle. It's going to turn brown. That's what you want. When the butter is brown, literally, it will look brown, turn the heat off and set aside somewhere warm. (Note, the butter is EXTREMELY hot so it's best to keep in the pot. But if you need it, add to a glass or heat proof bowl.)
  2. This is VERY similar to the pudding. In a small pot, combine the buttermilk, heavy cream, salt and half the sugar. Bring to a simmer.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the other half of the sugar until pale in color and thick.
  4. When the heavy cream is bubbling around the edges, turn the heat off and slowly stream into the egg mixture while whisking constantly.
  5. Add everything back to the pot and turn the heat onto medium. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture becomes very thick. Dairy has a way of burning way too easily, so try not to turn the heat up too high. This can take about 5–10 minutes, depending on how hot the liquid was going back into the pot. When you can lift the spoon out and it's covered in cream, draw a line on the spoon with your finger. If the cream stays put and line is clear, you're good.
  6. Turn the heat off and add the browned butter, don't bother to strain it. Add the nutmeg too. If you have an immersion blender, this is the time to use it. Mix for a couple minutes, you want to make sure everything is incorporated. If you don't have an immersion blender, a normal blender will work fine. Just be careful because everything will be hot. Chill until ready to use. If you find it too thick, thin out with a little cream.
Spicy Pepitas
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare a sheet pan with a silpat or line with parchment paper that has been greased.
  2. In a medium size pot, combine everything except for the pepitas. Heat until the mixture is one and a little bubbly.
  3. Stir in the pepitas and mix until everything is coated. Turn the heat off and spread on the prepared sheet pan.
  4. Bake in the oven for about 10–15 minutes, until they pepitas are slightly puffed. Remove from oven and cool.
Apple Chips
  1. Heat your oven to 225ºF.
  2. Place a baking rack in a sheet pan. Spray the baking rack with pan spray. Set aside.
  3. Use a mandoline or VERY sharp knife to slice the apple into 1/8-inch slices. If you're using a mandoline, stand the apple upright. If you're slice by hand, turn the apple on its side.. If they're too thin, they will be hard to peel take off the rack without breaking. If they're too thick, they'll take a really long time to cook.
  4. Place the apple slices on the greased rack. Try not to let them overlap. Bake in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. The edges will curl up and they'll start to brown. Let cool.
Assembly
  1. There really isn't just one way to assemble these. At the restaurant, I add 1 1/2 oz of pumpkin pudding, then 1 teaspoon of streusel, then 1 tablespoon of apple, then 1 more teaspoon of streusel. This is followed by 2 1/2 oz of more pumpkin. Lastly, another teaspoon of streusel, a drizzle of the brown butter cream, a scattering of pepitas and then the apple chip.
  2. But you could also just do a bit bowl of pudding and top it with streusel and apples and garnish with the cream, apple chip and seeds.
  3. You can also do more layers. Do pumpkin, streusel, apple, streusel, pumpkin, streusel, apple…you get the idea. From a visual standpoint, it's always great to serve layered desserts in glass dishes so you can see the layers. But, it's not necessary. So really, just have fun with it.
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