When the leaves begin to turn their vibrant colors, I know it’s time to start adding pumpkin to our meal plan! The first treat on my mind is always pumpkin pie, and this custard fulfills my lust for the pie filling without all the fuss of the crust (traditional or alternative). Heating the pumpkin, spices, and maple syrup together on the stovetop fills the house with the Fall scents we all love and the goodness in these little jars fills our mouths with the Fall flavors we all love.
While you can certainly use store bought pumpkin puree for this recipe, you many consider starting with a pie pumpkin and making the puree yourself. Pie, or sugar pumpkins are smaller, more dense, have a deeper color, and are sweeter than decorative pumpkins (avoid eating the decorative pumpkin!). Try pie pumpkins…
- baked or roasted
- steamed or boiled
- and then used for pies, soups, baked goods, pancakes, smoothies, or salads
Pumpkins are an excellent source of beta carotene, calcium and potassium. They are a good source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, E and B-complex, as well as fiber, iron, zinc and selenium.
This recipe is a great one to use a pie pumpkin for. Roasting a pumpkin is actually quite simple and worth the time in the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF and wash, dry and carefully cut the pumpkin in half with a large chef’s knife.
- Scoop out the pulp and seeds (I highly recommend saving the seeds to roast) and place the pumpkins cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Place in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until flesh is very tender when pierced with a fork. The time will vary based on the pumpkin size and thickness.
- Once your pumpkin is cooked, carefully scoop out the flesh from the skin and puree in a food processor or blender.
- Note: Some pumpkins contain more water than others. If your puree seems watery, you can try pressing some out using a fine mesh sieve and cheese cloth.
- 1 Tbsp. unflavored Gelatin
- ¼ cup cold water
- 1½ cups fresh Pumpkin puree (or store bought organic pumpkin puree)
- 1 cup organic Heavy Cream, divided
- 2 tsp. Cinnamon
- ½ tsp. ground Ginger
- ¼ tsp. Allspice
- ½ tsp. Salt
- ½ cup pure Maple syrup
- 3 Egg yolks
- 8 tsp. Cacao nibs
- Combine gelatin and cold water in a small bowl until dissolved. Set aside.
- In a saucepan (preferably, a double boiler) combine pumpkin, maple syrup, egg YOLKS, spices and salt. Mix thoroughly. Whisk over medium heat, until mixture thickens (may take 15 to 20 minutes).
- Remove from heat and stir in the soft gelatin until dissolved. Allow filling to cool and then chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
- In a stainless steel, or glass bowl, whip 1 cup of heavy cream with a hand mixer. Fold half of the whipped cream into the pumpkin custard.
- Divide pumpkin custard into 8, 8oz mason jars, ramekins, or other dish of choice.
- Top each with 1 tsp. of cacao nibs and the remaining whipped cream evenly divided. Place in the fridge or enjoy right away!