It’s that time of year again! You know, the time when all your favorite food bloggers start pushing nothing but pumpkin recipes for the next two months straight with absolutely no regard for whether or not you actually like pumpkin. Lucky you!
In that spirit, let’s kick things off with one of the coolest chia puddings I’ve ever made. This is a classic pumpkin pie flavored pudding at its core… but the bizarre addition of a caramelized pear on top takes things to a whole new level. The warm (almost melting) pear over the chilled pudding; the sweet caramely flavors and the pumpkin spice – it’s pretty amazing.
Makes 2 servings
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds (divided in half)
- 1/4 cup+ pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons rolled oats
- 2-3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup (optional)
- 1 ripe pear
In a blender, combine the almond milk, 1 1/2 tablespoons of chia seeds, pumpkin puree, rolled oats, some pumpkin pie spice, a splash of vanilla, and perhaps a drizzle of maple syrup (pumpkin can be bitter on its own) and blend until smooth. Give this a taste and adjust flavors as needed – more pumpkin? A little extra pumpkin pie spice? More sweetener? Add whatever it needs.
When the flavors are solid, pour into a bowl and throw in 1 1/2 or 2 tablespoons whole chia seeds. I find that blending half the seeds (above) and stirring in half whole seeds (now) results in the perfect texture. Next, like with all chia puddings, this one needs to be made ahead of time and chilled in the fridge for at least two hours in order for the chia seeds to absorb the water and form the pudding-like consistency.
After the pudding has set and you’re ready to serve, let’s broil a pear! To do this, turn your broiler on high and set an oven rack just below the flame. Peel a pear, slice in half, remove the seeds, lie both halves face down in a baking sheet and sprinkle with a little pumpkin pie spice. Add to the broiler and watch closely – this pear will cook through surprisingly quickly, about 6-8 minutes. Remove just before the outside is starting to blacken.
Finally, plate by dividing the pudding into two bowls and sticking a warm pear into the center of each along with (what else!) a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice. Note that both parts can be made ahead of time, with the pudding served cold and the pears reheated in the microwave or oven.