festive holiday recipe #6: pumpkin spoon bread

pumpkin spoon bread

For once, a savory recipe. I know, I know, I can hear y’all gasping in awe/wonder/confusion. I don’t post savory recipes very often. I don’t even have a good excuse for why that is…I’ll try harder to include more! I’m making herb and cheese puffs over Thanksgiving Friendsgiving weekend, so I’ll make sure to post those.

But spoon bread! I had no idea what spoon bread was until a couple of weeks ago, when I happened upon this recipe in a Bon Appetit magazine.  Basically, it’s a cornmeal pudding that has some characteristics of a souffle. Apparently, it’s a southern thing now, although Wikipedia tells me it likely originates from Native American cooking (whether or not Wikipedia is a reliable source of information is questionable, though.)

This would be a wonderful side dish for your holiday meal(s)! It’s light, custardy, and fluffy all at the same time. The pumpkin isn’t overly prominent; the chives and thyme actually steal the show. I imagine you could dress this savory pudding up in a number of different ways, probably with different cheeses and herbs and seasonings.

Also, it’s gluten free! Not a concern for me (thankfully), but I know there are lots of you out there with celiac’s and gluten allergies.

pumpkin spoon bread-

Pumpkin Spoon Bread
recipe adapted slightly from Bon Appetit

2 1/2 cups whole milk (I used 1 3/4 c. whole and 3/4 c. 2%, which worked out fine)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!)
3 large eggs, separated
2 TB chopped fresh chives
3/4 tsp chopped fresh thyme
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8  tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Whisk egg yolks, chives, thyme, and spices in a large bowl.
  3. Bring milk, butter, and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan.
  4. Reduce heat, gradually whisk in cornmeal, and simmer, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat; whisk in pumpkin.
  6.  Whisk in cornmeal mixture into egg yolk mixture (a little at a time at first, so the egg yolk mixture slowly comes to temp); set aside.
  7. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites in a medium bowl until soft/medium peaks form.
  8. Whisk ¼ of egg whites into batter, then gently fold in remaining egg whites.
  9. Pour batter into a 9×5” loaf pan.(I used a smaller loaf pan and put the extra into some muffin cups…if you use muffin cups, the baking time will likely be shorter).
  10. Bake until spoon bread is set and begins to pull away from sides of pan, 30–40 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

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