If you love pumpkin pie and just can't wait until Thanksgiving dinner to taste your first slice, then I have a dessert for you. This is a little cup of pumpkin pie, mug cake-style, with a gingersnap crust and snappy spices, and it feeds just one person: you. Make it in a mug, in the microwave, and you can be eating pumpkin pie 10 minutes from right now.
Yes, this is a mug pie (not to be confused with a mudpie) but it falls somewhere between a pie and a cake in texture. It's a little treat for those of you who adore pumpkin and spiced fall desserts, and it's a quick and easy way to give yourself a sweet ending to a long day without baking an entire pie. Like other mug cakes baked in the microwave, its texture is soft and a little spongy. There's a satisfying base of gingersnap crumbs in butter, too; they don't crisp up like they would in the oven but I love the way they complement the taste of the pumpkin.
The pumpkin comes through boldly; if you have homemade squash puree lying about this is a great use for it. I sweeten it up with brown sugar and spice it with pumpkin pie spice, but feel free to substitute honey, maple syrup, or other sweeteners, and to use your own mixes of spices instead of a packaged pumpkin pie spice.
Pumpkin Pie Mug Cake
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
14 grams gingersnaps (2 small cookies), crushed into 2 tablespoons of crumbs
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk or cream
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Place the butter in a microwave-safe mug that holds at least 10 ounces, and microwave on LOW until melted. Stir in the crushed gingersnaps and press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the mug.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, egg, milk or cream, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. Pour into mug with the gingersnap "crust."
Place the mug on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on full power for 2 to 5 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of the mug pie comes out clean. The top may look slightly damp but it will set as it cools. (Cooking time will vary greatly depending on your microwave and the width and depth of the mug. Start with 2 minutes and continue cooking in 30-second increments until it is done.)
Use a hot pad or oven mitt to carefully remove the mug from the microwave. Let it stand for a couple minutes to cool, then top, if desired, with whipped cream and crushed nuts before eating.
Doubling the recipe: You can double this recipe, but only cook one mug pie in the microwave at a time.
(Image credits: Faith Durand)