White Pillars Bed and Breakfast Pumpkin Crunch

White Pillars Bed and Breakfast in Russell Springs, Kentucky, is located in a traditional southern home built in 1876 and its recipe for Pumpkin Crunch is a favorite of many. Soon after the release of my cookbook Kentucky's Best — Fifty Years of Great Recipes, I was asked to do a guest cooking spot on a popular Lexington television station. I prepared this dish for the show hosts and by the time I wrapped everything up and left the show the receptionist winked at me and said the phones were ringing off the hook. The aroma of this great October dessert will make you glad autumn has arrived and your family will love it. It's a great alternative to pumpkin pie.

2 cups cooked and mashed pumpkin
12 ounces evaporated milk
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon salt
1 yellow butter cake mix
1 cup quick cooking oats or 1 cup chopped nuts
2 sticks butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together. Pour into buttered 13"x9"x2" cake pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix and oats or nuts over top. Pour melted butter over top of mixture. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes.

Serve warm with whipped topping, if desired.
Yield: 12 servings.