Pumpkin Budino

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Budino di Zucca –

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Buon giorno!

Some desserts just hit the mark with simplicity, flavor, sweetness and melt on the tongue ecstasy. Budino or Italian Pudding is one of them. Just in time for fall and Thanksgiving – as we turn our attention to “squashy” kinds of recipes – PUMPKIN BUDINO rides in on a white horse to rescue us from having to roll dough and fuss with a fancy dessert on top of everything else we need to prepare. PUMPKIN BUDINO hits all the right notes. It is simple, easy to prepare, delicious, and smacks of all the seasonal spices and ingredients. WHOO HOO!

For those not familiar, Budino is simply put – pudding –  to be served in a glass, ramekin, or unmolded for a little more drama. If you decide, to go for the more dramatic presentation unmolded on a plate, you will be surprised to note how easy it slides right out of the cup or ramekin. You can assist with a knife, if needed, but you probably won’t have to. This baby pops right out!

You will also be happy to hear that you can make these little numbers a day ahead. Wheeeee! Be still my heart!

There are many ways to dress your PUMPKIN BUDINO for the occasion: a little crème anglaise, whipped cream with a touch of rum, OR if you like something sweeter, you might try my CHESTNUT TOPPING. If you take this extra step, you should definitely make it a day or two ahead as it needs to stiffen just a bit in the frig. Note that this budino is lovely served on its own as well.

To gild this lily just a little further, I suggest adding a little piece or two of candied or crystallized ginger. Not only will this be delicious with the pudding’s own spices – but it has natural stomach settling properties which will be welcome after that marathon dinner you are planning. If you have extra time, I highly recommend making your own candied ginger and using this great recipe from my friend, Ann, at SUMPTUOUS SPOONFULS < LINK. What you don’t use for this Budino, you can use in so many other lovely recipes.

This Budino is light as a feather and does not have a heavy hand with the pumpkin. You’ll love the way the brown sugar and the spiced rum round out the flavor. It is a dessert that can be easily consumed after a heavy dinner and will be your “go-to” for your fall parties as well as holiday meals especially considering the short time it takes to produce. I would suggest – if you make this one ahead – to serve it at room temperature or warm for maximum taste. Sometimes too much cold can prevent the full flavor of any dessert from coming through.

Hey! Let’s go – that turkey dinner is waiting!


Serves: 6

Prep: 10 min.

Cook: 40 min.


1/2 c. fresh pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin

3 eggs

1/2 c. Brown sugar

1/2 tsp. ginger

1 tsp. Cinnamon

1/8 tsp. Nutmeg

Dash Salt

1 tsp. Vanilla

3 Tbsp. Spiced Rum (I like Captain Morgan’s) – optional

1/2 c. Heavy Cream

1/2 c. Milk

Whipped Cream or Chestnut Topping – recipe below.

Candied Ginger for garnish

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Beat eggs in a large bowl.

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Add pumpkin puree. Whisk in.

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Add brown sugar, spices, salt, vanilla, spiced rum.

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Add milk and cream.

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Mix thoroughly.

Butter 6 ramekins and divide budino among them. (You can also bake this in a single baking dish and spoon it into glasses)

Bake  at 350 degrees in pan with water 1/2 way up the sides of the ramekins (water bath) for about 30 minutes or until set.

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To serve: You can serve right in the ramekin or unmold the budino onto a plate – OR if you baked it in one large baking dish, you can spoon it into pretty glasses or dessert dishes. For extra garnish – I suggest whipped cream or the Chestnut Topping below. Top with a piece of candied or crystallized ginger.

Enjoy and rock that pumpkin!



Take about 6 oz chestnuts (Roast your own by slitting each with a knife making an “x”. Roast at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes – peel and use.) OR Purchase a jar of chestnuts. The Minerve or Williams – Sonoma are very good ones and are actually moister than freshly roasted ones.

Place the chestnuts in a saucepan and cover with milk. Bring to a boil until milk is absorbed. This softens them.

Put them through a ricer. They are ready to use!

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Place the riced chestnuts in a bowl and add 1 tsp vanilla and 1 Tbsp. Spiced Rum. Mix well. Add 2 c. Powdered sugar and mix thoroughly. It should be thick and “slimy”.

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Refrigerate several hours or overnight to stiffen.

Pour a spoonful on each budino and top with a piece of candied ginger. PERFECTION!

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Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography

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  1. Wow another delicious treat that special dinner. Easy to make . It seems like it’s perfect for those that want a dessert that has portion control. Of course, a guest can always have more than one !

  2. Linda…If I make these ahead and refrigerate, can I warm them in the oven again before unmolding? Can’t wait to try these!

    • Yes, you can, Barbara! Don’t make them hot – but warm, yes! I usually let mine come down to room temp. and then they don’t take much warming.

      • Linda, they turned out EXACTLY like you said. My Thanksgiving family and friends raved about them. Alas, my presentation didn’t measure up to your photograph. I think that, next time, I might leave them in the ramekins.

        • Barbara – So happy to hear that the recipe worked well for you. They are very nice in the ramekins. I sometimes serve them that way. Thanks for reporting in!

  3. Carole says:

    Linda, this looks fantastic! Thanks for popping over and adding it to the collection. Cheers