As I've mentioned, I'm trying to eat as little sugar as possible. So far, so good, although I absolutely love pumpkin pie and didn't want to miss out this holiday season. Since pumpkin itself is quite nutritious, I decided to experiment with a classic, cream-based pumpkin filling (the best kind, in my opinion) and see how low I could take the sugar and still enjoy it. (I've already been baking the filling without crust for years, since it's the custard I really enjoy.)
Three tablespoons of brown sugar turned out to be the sweet spot, nicely complimenting the naturally sweet pumpkin. I added just a pinch of sugar to the softly whipped cream for the full effect, et voila, a lovely pumpkin custard that will definitely fill a craving for those of you trying to keep holiday sweets to a dull roar.
And in case you're wanting the real deal? No problem! The original recipe (with a delicious gingersnap crust enhancement) is here at Joy of Baking. It's all good.
PS If you're shopping around for a turkey and ideas for roasting it, check my post last week on Dara & Co./Minnesota Monthly for Herb-Roasted Turkey and Gravy, and don't miss Chef Scott Pampuch's excellent Star Tribune video on how to carve it!
Hint-of-Sweet Pumpkin Custard
Adapted from www.joyofbaking.com
Note: The custard can also be baked in 4-oz. ramekins.
3 large eggs
2 c. fresh pumpkin puree or 1 - 15 oz. can pure pumpkin
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
few gratings of fresh nutmeg
softly whipped cream sweetened with a pinch of sugar
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Butter a pie plate. In a large bowl lightly whisk the eggs. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie plate. Bake custard for 45 minutes or until the filling is just set (center will look wet; a knife inserted about 1 inch from side of pan will come out almost clean.) Cool custard to room temperature and serve, or cover cooled custard and chill.