- 1 small sugar pie pumpkin
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 cup unrefined sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- Pinch of ground cloves
Up to 2 days in advance: Preheat oven to 375° F. Cut pumpkin in half crosswise and place it, cut side-down, on a baking sheet. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Allow to cool, scoop out seeds, and then scoop out the pumpkin flesh and puree until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Up to 1 day in advance: Preheat oven to 350° F. In a saucepan, heat cream to a simmer. Combine egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl and beat well. Add 1/4 of the hot cream to yolks to temper and then pour in remaining cream. Stir in vanilla, spices and 1/2 cup pumpkin purée.
Fill 6 to 8 ovenproof ramekins with the mixture and place in a casserole dish. Pour boiling water around the dishes to a depth of about 1 inch. Bake for 20 minutes or until very lightly set (the custard should still “shimmy” slightly). Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Just before serving: Sprinkle custards with remaining sugar, distributing it evenly over the surface. Place under a broiler until sugar caramelizes, or use a kitchen torch to caramelize sugar.
Note: If using a broiler to caramelize the sugar, place ramekins in a casserole dish and surround with ice cubes to keep them cool.