I couldn’t resist picking up a pumpkin from the market the other day, even though I find them bland and much prefer cooking with a more toothsome squash such as a Butternut, Acorn or Hubbard. The marché had an absolute mountain of them –all for $4- and Noah, pointing excitedly and kicked his legs, informed me:
“Bal! Bal!” .
“No, those aren’t balls, their pumpkins, Sweetheart”. I educated him, to no effect.
He had lots of fun rolling around on the floor at home with it and I though, well, why not? It’s round and he can play with it, so it is a ball of sorts, now how am I going to cook this ball?
Pumpkin soup and pumpkin pie seem to be the only two ways people know how to cook pumpkin .Most people I know don’t even like pumpkin pie ( I do, but do I want to eat a whole pie? No thanks) and although a nice pumpkin coconut curry soup sounds like it would hit the spot, I remember an old recipe of mine for Maple Pumpkin Pots de Crème.
Traditionally made with chocolate, these are small baked custards are similar to crème caramel, but even easier to make. This recipe is simple as well, but tastes wonderfully intricate. A party in your mouth!
Maple Pumpkin Pots de Crème
1 cup heavy cream
¾ cup whole milk
¾ cup pure maple syrup
½ cup pureed pumpkin
7 large egg yolks
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 325F.
Whisk together cream, milk, syrup, and pumpkin in a heavy saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat.
Add hot pumpkin mixture to yolks in a slow stream, whisking constantly.
Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large measuring cup, then diving among ramekins. Bake custards in a hot water bath, pan covered tightly with foil, in the middle of the oven until set. 30-35 minutes.
Cool at room temperature. Chill until cold. Serve.
I halved the recipe and it made four ramekins. So a whole recipe would make 8-10 depending on the size of your custard cups and how full you fill them.