Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sweet Pumpkin Cornmeal Mush

What the rest of the world calls 'polenta', those of us with a Southern and Midwestern family influence call 'cornmeal mush'. Normally we eat it savory, smothered in butter, salt and often times, cheese.

Wanting to do something a little different, I decided to go sweet, with pumpkin, and the result is velvety and divine. Leave out the very small amount of butter and this can easily go vegan.

Sweet Pumpkin Cornmeal Mush
Serves 8
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

3 cups water - divided
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup finely ground cornmeal
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup packed brown sugar - divided
1/3 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Blend together 1 cup water and cornmeal - set aside.
3. Combine 2 cups water and pumpkin puree in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and pour in cornmeal slurry, stirring constantly with a wire whisk.
4. Reduce heat to low and continue stirring until thickened, which is almost immediately.
5. Remove from heat and stir in 1/3 cup brown sugar, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. Blend well.
6. Pour into 8 small (1 1/2 cup capacity) oven-safe bowls.
7. Stir together 1/3 cup brown sugar and pecans. Top each bowl evenly with mixture.
8. Place bowls on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until brown sugar is melted and bubbling. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.


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