Holiday mornings are always special in my family, and every year we try to come up with new festive dishes to serve at brunch. This pudding (which is really a porridge…but pudding sounds a little more indulgent, don’t you think? And what are holidays for, if not indulgence ;) ) is the perfect thing to wake up to on a snowy holiday morning; it features pumpkin and maple, and is thickened with semolina.
Semolina is commonly used in Middle Eastern cooking to make puddings, like the mysterious and seductive-sounding Layali Lubnan (Lebanese Nights), which is a favorite of mine; eggs and heavy cream step aside! Using semolina to make puddings yields a much lighter result, but it is still quite tasty too. I decorated my Pumpkin-Maple Pudding with pomegranate arils, which look like jewels and really make this feel like a special treat.
A Serving Suggestion: In addition to breakfast, this pudding would make a lovely dessert. It isn’t overly sweet, so feel free to increase the sweetener if you want. Also, if you’re serving it for dessert, it would be wonderful with a dollop of whipped cream.
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup water*
3 tablespoons semolina**
3 tablespoons granulated maple sugar (more or less to taste)***
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon each clove, ginger, and salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pomegranate arils (optional; for garnish)
Combine everything except the vanilla and pomegranate arils in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking frequently. Boil until thick and creamy (about the consistency of cream of wheat), about 5 minutes, whisking almost constantly. Turn off the heat, stir in the vanilla, and pour into 2 individual serving bowls. Eat hot, or cool to room temperature and then refrigerate to chill. Top with pomegranate arils, if desired.
*Use milk (any kind you like) instead of water if you want a creamier consistency.
**I buy my semolina at my local Arabic grocery store; if you can’t find it, farina (Cream of Wheat) will also work.
***If you can’t find granulated maple sugar, you can substitute brown sugar along with 1 teaspoon maple-flavored extract.