Skip to main content

Pumpkin Custards

Smooth, silky, pleasantly spiced and very much of the season, Pumpkin Custards are absolutely delicious.  Everyone seems to be in such a rush around Thanksgiving to bake & roast the perfect meal, that many seem to take dessert for granted.  This doesn't have to be the case if you arm yourself with a good, reliable recipe that is fool-proof and full of the season's flavors. 

One of the added benefits about my custards is that they are absolutely gluten-free!  Several of my friends have a gluten intolerance but still crave the flavor of pumpkin pie.  For them, my Pumpkin Custards are just the thing to eat.  Yes, they're also a Good Thing for those who claim they don't have time to make & roll out a pie crust (even for those who are too timid to make a homemade pie crust!).  These little custards can be whipped up the day before the feast and be kept in the refrigerator until dessert time.  I think once you taste how utterly delicious my custards are, you're going to be tempted to make them time & time again.  Let's start baking! 

Pumpkin Custard

The Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • pinch of cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (or tapioca starch)
  • 12 oz. can evaporated milk (2% or whole milk)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (Grade A or B) or honey
  • 15 oz. can pumpkin puree (not pie filling!)

Equipment: 8 ramekins or custard cups with a 4oz. (1/2cup) capacity.

Bring a teakettle to a boil and find a roasting pan or baking pan that can hold all of your ramekins with space in between them. 

Preheat your oven to 350° F

Whisk your eggs in a medium-sized bowl. 

Sift the spices, salt & cornstarch over the beaten eggs.  This will help prevent the spices from clumping in your custard.  A very Good Thing.  Whisk until completely combined.  Add the milk and vanilla extract; whisk to combine thoroughly.

With the same sifter, strain the light brown sugar into the custard to remove any lumps.  If you find small bits of hardened brown sugar that won't go through the sifter, discard them.  You can push the brown sugar through the strainer with a whisk, but it's much easier to use a spatula.  Don't forget to scrape the bottom of the sieve!  Now whisk in the maple syrup (or honey).  Add the pumpkin puree and mix until the custard is smooth. 

Voila!  The fragrant, spicy Pumpkin Custard ready to be portioned out. 

With a 4 oz. ladle, portion out the custard evenly among the 8 ramekins taking care not to dribble down the sides of the cups.  The ramekins are sitting inside a roasting pan and are staggered, giving them plenty of room.

Carefully pour enough boiling water into the pan so that it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins.  Don't let any water fall into the cups.

Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes.  The custards should be set and not wiggle.  The tops may brown slightly and may even puff up a little.  Upon cooling they will settle.

Remove them from the water bath and let them cool completely on wire racks before serving.  I prefer a cold custard, but they can certainly be served at room temperature.

 Bring them to the table & watch them disappear!

A most creamy custard.  Delicious.

Simple to make and bake, and positively scrumptious to eat, my Pumpkin Custards are sure to please everyone at your Thanksgiving table.  Don't forget to provide some sweetened whipped cream or a bit of crème fraîche for each serving, but remember, only one custard per guest.  I know, who am I kidding, right?  There are those who will insist on seconds, so I strongly advise you to double the recipe if you wish.  Just make sure you have enough custard cups (teacups can be used in a pinch!) and plenty of spoons. 

I want to wish everyone a safe & wonderful Thanksgiving.  May you be surrounded by loved ones, delicious food and lots of good cheer  Enjoy!

~ David ~


  1. These look really good. You said that cups can be used instead of ramekins to make the custards. What kind of cups would you use if one chose to do this with them?


  2. Hi there,

    You can use any type of cup that is oven proof, like say porcelain or tempered glass. I wouldn't use antique cups or very fine china if I were you. As long as they seem sturdy you shouldn't have any problems.



Post a Comment

Thank You for Posting!

Popular posts from this blog

Antique Salt Cellars

There was a time when salt cellars played an important role on the dining table for the host or hostess.  As a result of it being such an expensive commodity several hundred years ago, salt was seen as a luxury and it was the well to do that made salt cellars quite fashionable & a status symbol for the home.  A single salt cellar usually sat at the head of the table and was passed around throughout the meal.  The closer one sat to the salt cellar, the more important one was deemed by the head of the household.  Smaller cellars that were more accessible and with an open top became a part of Victorian table settings.  Fast forward to the 20th century when salt was no longer a luxury and when anti caking agents were added to make salt free-flowing, and one begins to see salt cellars fall out of fashion.  Luckily for the collector and for those of us who like to set a table with Good Things , this can prove to be a boon. Salt cellars for the table come in silver, porcelain, cut glass

Collecting Jadeite

With its origins dating back to the 1930s, jadeite glassware began its mass production through the McKee Glass Co. in Pennsylvania. Their introduction of the Skokie green & Jade kitchenware lines ushered in our fascination with this jade color.  Glassmakers catered jadeite to the American public as an inexpensive alternative to earthenware soon after the Depression, both for the home and for its use in restaurants.  The Jeanette Glass Company and Anchor Hocking introduced their own patterns and styles, which for many collectors, produced some of the most sought after pieces.  Companies marketed this beautiful glass under the monikers of jadite , jadeite , jade glass , jad-ite , jade-ite , so however you want to spell it, let it draw you in for a closer look.  If you want a thorough history of the origins of jadeite, collectors’ pricing, patterns & shapes (don’t forget the reproductions in 2000), I highly suggest picking up the book by Joe Keller & David Ross called, Jadei

A Tour of Turkey Hill with Martha Stewart and Friends

Martha Stewart led an intimate tour of her former Westport, Connecticut home and gardens for a few of my friends this past weekend.  From the photographs I've seen of that special day, it was an experience that will be remembered for a lifetime by those who were in attendance.  As much as I regret not going to this momentous occasion, my friends were kind enough to allow me to share their amazing photographs here on the blog. Let's take a tour of Turkey Hill with Martha Stewart and a few of my friends. Without the kindness of Jeffrey Reed, Dennis Landon, Darrin David, Anthony Picozzi and Colin Eastland, this post would not be possible.  It must also be stated that the fundraising event was graciously hosted by the current owners of Turkey Hill, the Bergs. Many thanks to the Berg family for opening up the property. Turkey Hill is the Federal style home that was purchased, renovated and landscaped by Martha Stewart and her then husband, Andy, back in 1970.  It was he