pumpkin casserole with crunchy pecan topping
Equipment: 2½ qt. baking dish, or four 8-ounce ramekins or cocottes plus a smaller casserole.
  • 2 15-ounce cans plain pumpkin puree
  • 7 T. butter (divided: 6 T. to saute veggies, 1 T. for topping)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1½ c. panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) or 4 slices plain white bread, toasted and crumbed in food processor
  • ½ c. chopped pecans
  • 24 Ritz crackers, crumbed in food processor
  • ½ lb. grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • ½ c. heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika (optional, but so good!)
  • ¼ - ½ tsp. ground cayenne or chipotle pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2½ quart baking dish, or four 8-oz. ramekins and a smaller baking dish.
  2. Melt 6 T. butter over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and red pepper, and cook until just tender. Meanwhile, melt the remaining 1 T. butter and toss it with the panko and pecans.
  3. Mix the pumpkin puree, onions, pepper, garlic, cracker crumbs, and cheese. Stir in the eggs, cream, sugar, and seasonings. Blend well. Pour into baking dish (and/or cocottes). Top with the panko-pecan mixture. Bake until browned, about 40 minutes (check the cocottes after 30 minutes as they will be done faster). Enjoy!
Recipe by radish*rose at http://radishrose.net/2015/11/15/pumpkin-casserole-with-crunchy-pecan-topping/