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Many of us look forward to having pumpkin pie once a year on Thanksgiving. However, you can enjoy pumpkin pie throughout the fall season, since pumpkins are in such ready supply. If you want a lighter desert, but still want all of the flavor of your traditional pumpkin pie, try making this simple pumpkin custard instead.

Pumpkin Custard

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  • Ready in: total time: about 2 hours
  • Complexity: medium
Pumpkin Custard


  • 2 cups pureed pumpkin
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups light cream or evaporated milk
  • 3 large eggs


  • You can puree the pumpkin yourself rather than using canned pumpkin. To do so, start by finding a smallish pumpkin that was grown for eating, not carving. Cut your pumpkin in half and scrape off the seeds and cut out the stem.
  • Place the pumpkin halves on a greased baking sheet with the peel-side down and cover with foil. Bake at 325 degrees for approximately an hour, then remove the foil and continue to bake for another 45 minutes.
  • When the flesh of the pumpkin is very soft, it is done. Allow the pumpkin to cool, until it can be handled.
  • Then using a spoon scrape the flesh of the pumpkin off of the peel. Discard the peel. Next place your pumpkin in a very fine sieve over the sink and top with a heavy weight, allow the pumpkin to drain for some time. Now you have fresh pumpkin puree for your custard.
  • When you are ready to make your custard, take your pumpkin and place it in the food processor with all of the spices and sugar. Now put the pumpkin puree into a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  • Stirring continuously, cook the pumpkin until thick. Next quickly whisk in the cream or milk and bring to a very gentle simmer
  • Beat the eggs until mixed in the food processor or a large bowl, then slowly add the hot pumpkin.
  • Pour the filling into a greased pie pan and bake until the custard is firm, approximately 30 minutes.

You can also bake the custard in small custard cups, making individual sized servings of the custard rather than a full dish. In addition, if you don't have time to puree your own pumpkin, or you want a quick simple recipe you can always purchase canned pureed pumpkin, which has a good recipe included on the can.

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