A big part of my youth was spent doing things with the Young Women’s organization. One of my favorites was camp. It was five days in the great outdoors filled with skits, water balloon volleyball, pranks, good people, and lots of “this is going to be a story to tell” in the making. There were several constants that you knew to expect going into it. First, you’d go snipe hunting with your pillow case (don’t worry PITA, this is a non-existent bird most just didn’t know it). Second, canoes would “accidentally” be flipped over. Third, there’d be peach cobbler.
There was also another constant, Espy. The greatest camp leader of all time, a hard core camper. Many girls had a “love but terrified” relationship with Espy. She was a phenomenal camper and she could throw together a peach cobbler just as quickly as she could weave a volleyball net together. Both of which took her under four minutes (or at least as long as it took me to pick up a volleyball net and turn around).
Because of camp, when I think of cobbler, I think of peach cobbler in a dutch oven over coals. Some years after attending camp as a camper, I was able to go back to camp as a leader. The night we made the cobbler, good ol’ Espy was there to help throw it together. I was braving the rickety camp stove when I heard worried calls for my name. When I turned around a few girls came over and told me that some peaches fell, and espy wanted to throw them into the dutch oven anyway. Hard. Core. Camper.
This recipe is sans peaches and dirt but not to worry, we’ve substituted pumpkin for both. It’s so simple and so good, even for a non-pumpkin lover like myself. So it’s the perfect alternative for pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving.
Again, it’s simple. You begin by stirring together the flour, baking powder (make sure you’re using fresh powder, old powder can break any recipe), salt, sugar, and spices. Set that to the side and in a small bowl mix your pumpkin (this is pumpkin, NOT pumpkin pie filling), milk (always use whole milk when baking guys, don’t skimp), melted butter, and vanilla. Combine the bowls together to make a thick batter and toss it into a deep buttered pie dish or a tall 8-inch casserole dish.
In your third and last bowl, mix together your sugar, brown sugar, and pecans. Spread it over the top of your batter.
Last, pour 1 1/2 cups of hot water over the top and DO NOT MIX. It’ll look like you ruined the whole thing but you didn’t. I promise.
Bake this baby at 350 degrees over a cookie sheet for 40 minutes (or once the center is set) and then let it cool as long as you can stand staring at it (which is hopefully 5-10 minutes. Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy!
You could likely feed 6-8 people with this pie. If you double up, make sure you double up on the water as well!
- 1 cup + 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup melted butter or vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1 1/2 cups very hot water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium sized bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and spices. Set aside.
- In a smaller bowl, stir pumpkin, milk, melted butter and vanilla together to combine. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix to create a thick batter. Pour into a small 8-inch casserole dish with high sides.
- In a separate bowl, stir sugar, brown sugar and pecans together. Spread over the top of the batter evenly. Pour hot water over and bake for 40 minutes or once the center is set. Cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Big thanks to Moose for the photos and Cynthia Jaen Photography for editing them!