Pumpkin Pot de Crème
2 c. whole milk
2 c. heavy cream
1 cinnamon stick
3/4 cup canned pumpkin purée
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. grated nutmeg
1 t. vanilla extract
1 cup sugar (see note)
In a saucepan, combine the milk, cream and cinnamon stick. Bring just to the boil over medium high heat. Remove from the heat and allow to “steep” for 15 to 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk the spices and the vanilla into the pumpkin purée. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk half of the sugar into the egg yolks, continuing to whisk until the mixture is thick and lemon in color. Set aside. Add the remaining sugar to the pan with the cream and milk and return the pan to the heat. Bring back to the boil. Gradually add the hot liquid to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk in the pumpkin and spices. Pour the custard through a fine mesh strainer. Don't skip this step. Pumpkin is fibrous and straining will make the custard more refined.
|Fibrous bits of pumpkin strained out of the custard (along with the cinnamon stick)|
Allow to sit for a minute or 2. Skim and discard the foam that has risen to the top. If not skimmed off, the foam will create a rough finished surface on the baked custard.
|Foam skimmed off of custard|
Divide 12 4-oz. ramekins between 2 roasting pans. Using a measuring cup with a pouring spout or a ladle, divide the custard between the 12 ramekins. Pour enough boiling water into the roasting pans to come half way up the side of each ramekin. Cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil. Bake in the center of a 325º oven until the custards are set around the edges but still trembling in the center—25 to 35 minutes.
Remove the ramekins from the water bath and allow them to cool to room temperature.
Cover and chill for at least 8 hours—should be made a day or 2 ahead.
Serve well chilled with a rosette or dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg. Pass a plate of cookies along side. Serves 12
Note: This recipe is not quite the same version that I taught in that long ago class. I have increased the number of egg yolks and I have also increased the sugar. If you prefer a less sweet custard, you may reduce the sugar to 3/4 cup.
1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened (114 grams)
1/4 c. Crisco (44 grams)
1 c. dark brown sugar
1/4 c. unsulphured molasses
2 1/3 c. all purpose flour (270 grams)
2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. cloves
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. ginger
Cream the butter, Crisco and sugar together in a large bowl. Beat in the egg and then the molasses. In a separate bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Add these to the creamed mixture. Chill the dough.
Roll the cookie dough into scant 1-inch balls and roll in granulated sugar. Place on greased cookie sheets and bake at 375° just until set—about 8 to 10 minutes. Makes about 60 cookies.