Italians use pumpkin in many dishes including soups, breads, cakes, and puddings. Pumpkin is also
especillay popular in Northern Italian and Sicilian cuisines. This recipe for Pumpkin Pudding Cake is
from the Veneto region. It is a dense, moist dessert with the consistency of pumpkin pie and the added
flavors and texture of candied orange, ginger, and pine nuts. Serve the budino with espresso or grappa.
1/2 cup golden raisins
20 amaretti cookies, finely crushed
1 (15 ounce) can 100% pure pumpkin
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs, separated
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 tablespoon chopped candied ginger
Pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving
In a small bowl, combine the raisins and grappa; set aside until needed.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Generously butter an 8-inch square baking dish.
Evenly spread the crushed amaretti on the bottom of the baking dish; set
In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, 1/2 cup sugar, flour, milk, and egg
yolks. Add the raisins with the grappa, pine nuts, candied orange peel, and
candied ginger. Mix until the ingredients are well blended.
In another bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until foamy. Add the cream
of tartar and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Continue beating until the whites form stiff
peaks. Use a spatula to gently fold the egg whites into the pumpkin mixture,
until no white streaks remain. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean and
the top looks a little crusty.
Remove from the oven and let it cool on a rack for 30 minutes.
Run a knife around the inside edges of the pan to loosen it. Then invert the
cake onto a serving dish. Let the cake cool completely before serving.
Cut into squares to serve. Top with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream or
vanilla ice cream.
The flavor of the budino actually improves after a day or two and may be
refrigerated for up to one week.