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Pumpkin Date Pudding

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs -- separated
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 16 oz can pumpkin or 1 1/2 cups fresh pumpkin -- cooked and mashed
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped nuts


Cream brown sugar and shortening. Add egg yolks, beating well. Mix flour, salt, butter, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger together and beat in alternately with pumpkin and milk. Fold in dates and nuts. Beat egg whites until they hold stiff peaks and gently fold into batter. Put mixture into a well-oiled or buttered 6-cup mold or soufflé dish. Place a small trivet in a slow cooker large enough for the soufflé dish, and add about 1/2 to 3/4-inch of water to the slow cooker. If you don't have a trivet, make uniform balls or a "ring" from aluminum foil, just thick enough to keep the soufflé dish out of the water. Cut a round of wax paper to fit the top of the soufflé dish and lightly grease it so batter will not stick as it rises, then wrap well with aluminum foil. Put in slow cooker and cook on low 4 to 5 hours.

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