The Shameless Chef: Three Layer Pumpkin Overload

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Jane Catherine Collins recently posted how to make the "perfect" pumpkin pie. Well, that's fine, if you're into meticulously tracking down those rare jungle spices that you have to mix into your pie crust at the stroke of midnight on the equinox while chanting the Shaman's Iniquity Prayer in its original Sumerian (because if you don't, the goblin eggs you used in the pie stuffing will hatch and the little bastards will steal your kidneys), but it should be obvious by now that the Shameless Chef is not about perfection. The Shameless Chef is about excess. I believe that nothing is so perfect that it can't be improved upon by adding three or four other things that are also awesome to it. Ask anyone who has attended my recent "Prime Rib a la Mode" luncheon, it is a surefire formula for success. Or at the very least, a truly awe-inspiring debacle.

Moving on. If you don't particularly care for pumpkin, go away. The rest of you, buy a hat, and then hold the eff on to it. We're going to make a dessert with a pumpkin cookie crust, pumpkin pie filling, and pumpkin pudding topping. You'll be a legend within your Thanksgiving circle. "Remember that guy with the pentagram-shaped scar who smelled like burning root beer who brought that awesome pumpkin dessert?" they'll whisper reverently years from now.

You will need:

  • 1 15-ounce can of Libby's pumpkin filling
  • 1 30-ounce can of Libby's pumpkin filling
  • 1 box instant French vanilla pudding (Freedom vanilla to all you patriots out there)
  • 1 TB Pumpkin spice
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 12-ounce cans of evaporated milk
  • Up to 3 Alternative Baking Company Pumpkin Spice cookies (or the pumpkin-flavored cookies of your choice)

Seriously, the pumpkin ones do exist, and, just so you know, they are evidently very, very popular at the Smoothie King at the intersection of 528 and Bay Area Blvd (which, coincidentally enough, is where I always buy them from). And yeah, I know they're vegan cookies. I'm sorry. They're the only pumpkin cookies I am currently aware of, and they also happen to be very tasty, despite the fact that they come from hippies.

First, open the 30-ounce can of pumpkin filling; I like to use a can opener that only works 60 percent of the time and generally makes you want to take whatever you're trying to open out back and get into it with a shotgun. Dump the filling into a bigass bowl, then add two eggs, 2/3 cup of evaporated milk, and the tablespoon of pumpkin spice. Beat it. I used a whisk, and my wrist almost fell off. You'll definitely want to use an eggbeater if you have one.

Now, open one of the cookies and crumble it up into the bottom of whatever dish you'll be baking the dessert in.

Pour the pumpkin filling mixture over the cookie crust. You can crumble up a little more cookie over the top of it, if you'd like; I did, and nothing exploded. Now put it in the oven on a middle rack, baking at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Does anyone ever use the bottom rack in the oven for anything? Just wondering. I never have, except by mistake.

Now we'll mix together the pudding. It's easy as hell; I used this recipe (minus the whipped cream). Once that's done, I went ahead and left it in the fridge for a while.

After 15-20 minutes, reduce the heat on the pie-ish portion of the dessert in the oven to 350 degrees and let it bake for another 50-60 minutes. An episode of the X-Files on DVR (fast-forwarding through the commercials) is an excellent timer. Once that time is up, stick a knife in the center of the pie to test whether or not it's done. If the knife comes up fairly clean, you're all set.

Take the pie out of the oven and let it cool for two hours before adding the pumpkin pudding topping. Yes, you can crumble up still more cookie over it once that's done; a good rule of thumb is "you can't have too much cookie." Store it in the fridge until you're going to eat it.

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