Makes 8 servings
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin purée
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 cup organic sugar
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1 box (18.2 ounces) organic yellow cake mix
1½ cups chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom of 9-by-13-inch pan with 1 tablespoon melted butter and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, eggs, cinnamon, and salt. Pour pumpkin mixture into prepared pan. Distribute dry cake mix evenly over pumpkin mixture, then sprinkle pecans over top. Drizzle remaining melted butter over nuts. Bake until cake is firm and top is golden brown, 55 to 60 minutes. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Serve with Ginger Ice Cream (recipe below), if desired.
Playwright Clare Barron and her fellow artists-in-residence enjoy the pumpkin-pecan cake in the great outdoors.
Ginger Ice Cream Recipe
Fresh grated ginger gives this frozen treat its distinctive flavor.
Makes 1 quart
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup organic sugar
¼ cup peeled, freshly grated ginger, or more to taste
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring cream, ½ cup sugar, ginger, and vanilla to a boil, making sure not to scald cream. Remove from heat and let rest for 1 hour to marry flavors.
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and remaining ½ cup of sugar and set aside. Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside.
3. Over medium-high heat, return cream mixture to a boil, then remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Carefully add warm cream mixture to egg-sugar mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly, to temper eggs. Return mixture to same saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until cream coats back of spoon.
4. Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain cream mixture into a metal bowl and set over reserved ice-water bath to chill for 20 minutes. Transfer mixture to an ice-cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s instructions.