Sunday was a beautiful day, blue skies and crisp Autumnal air…A perfect day for a cooking class. With Thanksgiving around the corner, the theme of our class was “Ode to the Pumpkin”. Each recipe contained this nutrient dense winter squash, and the aromas of ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice and cardamom filled the kitchen. Since I have never been a fan of pumpkin pie I decided to take all those wonderful flavors and create a healthy version of a crème caramel, and it was a hit! The custard produced is less dense than pumpkin pie filling and is free of grains, nuts, casein and refined sugars. Using Coconut or Palm Sugar introduces a warm caramel flavor and keeps the glycemic load down.
Traditionally Crème Caramel is unmolded from the ramekin or custard cup and served on a plate, but I recommend serving this straight from the ramekin. I did try to unmold the custard (before the class thankfully) and it was a bit of a disaster. My husband/photographer also noted that it looked “less than appetizing on the plate”…Honesty, ouch! Please also keep in mind that cooking times will vary depending on the size of the ramekin/custard cup used. The small ramekin in the photograph holds 4 ounces and took approximately 40 minutes to bake.
1 Scant Cup Coconut or Palm Sugar
6 Pastured Eggs (brought to room temperature)
1 ½ Cups Homemade or Organic Canned Pumpkin Puree
1 1/3 Cups Coconut Milk, or Half and Half
3 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 ½ teaspoons Organic Ground Ginger
1 ½ teaspoons Organic Ground Cinnamon
¼ teaspoon Organic Ground Cloves
¼ teaspoon Organic Ground Nutmeg
Dash of Organic Ground Cardamom (optional)
Maple Syrup for Custard Cups
Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
Pour maple syrup in the ramekins/custard cups as swirl to cover the bottom of the cup (approximately 1 Tablespoon).
In a large bowl beat the eggs until foamy with an electric hand mixer.
Add pumpkin, coconut milk, coconut sugar, spices, and vanilla, beating until all ingredients are well combined.
Slowly pour the pumpkin mixture into the ramekins.
Make a water bath by placing the ramekins in an ovenproof baking dish and carefully pouring boiling water to surround your oven proof ramekins. (NOTE: you should have at least 1 inch of water surrounding the ramekins).
Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes. (NOTE: if you jiggle the custard cup, and it seems very loose keep baking. When they are cooked the custard should have a slight spring when the custard cup is tapped with a spoon.
Remove cups from the water and cool slightly on wire rack.
Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours before serving.
Wishing all of you a very happy and safe Thanksgiving.