Comfort meets convenience in a greased baking pan.
This past weekend I found myself stress-planning a last-minute menu for family visiting from out of town. Needing an easy win, I reached deep in the archives and found this recipe for “Pumpkin Crisp.”
If, like me, you were born in the ‘80s and raised by five sets of grandparents1, there’s a solid chance that one of your grandmothers cooked a lot of food in casserole dishes. Salads, sides, mains, desserts—if it fit in a baking dish and could be cooked at 350 degrees, it was on the menu. For me, this was Grandma Spartz, who cataloged recipes clipped out of the local newspaper in an overstuffed three-ring binder. I think that’s where this recipe originated.
Somewhere along the way someone started calling it “Pumpkin Shizzle,” and until something better is suggested, that’s what it’ll remain. Whatever you call it, it’s damn tasty, easy to make, and pulls almost entirely from pantry staples. Keep it in your back pocket for the impending holiday/potluck season.
I tried making this more…gourmet?…once by roasting a pumpkin and making my own cake mix. Don’t bother, y’all. Stick with the store-bought goods for this one.
1 15-oz. can pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 15.25-oz. package butter flavored yellow cake mix
1 cup salted butter, melted
1 ½ cups halved pecans
Whipped cream for serving2
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease an 11x7-inch3 baking pan with butter.
In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, evaporated milk, and vanilla. Stir with a spatula until evenly mixed, then spread the mixture into the greased baking pan.
Sprinkle the cake mix evenly over the top of the pumpkin mix, breaking up any lumps. Spread the pecans over the cake topping, then coat everything with the melted butter.
Bake for 1 hour. Serve warm with with whipped cream.
It’s been a busy year, friends. Work travel is finally winding down enough for me to spend some time in the woods, at least. Someday soon I’ll have a moment to catch my breath and write again—I’ll have more recipes to share then.
Multiple therapists have insisted that this is, in fact, not normal.
I’d argue here the fresh is best but given the other ingredients in this dessert, there’s no shame in a tub of Cool Whip.
A 13x9-inch works, too. That’s probably what the original recipe called for, but I like the thicker layers that form in the 11x7.