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Baked Pumpkin Custard

Baked Pumpkin CustardSkip the crust and try this festive recipe for pumpkin custard baked and served in mini-sized sugar pumpkins. It's a delicious dessert that has 70% fewer calories and 97% less saturated fat than the traditional pumpkin pie and includes heart-healthy walnuts. Recipe created by chef Patrick Mulvaney.

Recipe Ingredients:

6 small sugar pumpkins, 12 to 16 ounces each, and about 4-inches in diameter (to be used as decorative bowls)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 cups pumpkin purée
1 cup nonfat or lowfat evaporated milk
6 tablespoons chopped, toasted walnuts

Cooking Directions:

  1. To prepare the pumpkins, if you are using them, remove the stem end from each, and scrape the seeds and fibers from inside the pumpkins. Cut a very thin slice off the bottom of each pumpkin, so they will sit flat, without wobbling. Alternately, coat 6 ramekins, each about six-ounce capacity, with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
  3. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt, and stir with a whisk or spoon until evenly blended. Add the eggs and pumpkin purée and beat until completely mixed. Slowly pour in the evaporated milk, stirring until smooth.
  4. If you are using pumpkins, divide the filling among them, pouring about 1/2 cup into each. Place the pumpkins on a parchment-lined shallow baking pan, with their tops next to them. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F (175°C) and continue baking about 1 hour more, or until the pumpkins are tender when pierced. If the tops are done sooner, remove them. If you are using ramekins, pour about 1/2 cup of filling into each. Place the ramekins on a shallow baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325°F (160°C) and bake about 25 minutes more, or until a knife inserted in the filling comes out clean, or almost clean.
  5. Remove from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool (cool for an hour if baked in pumpkins). Serve the custards warm, sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon of walnuts. Accompany with sweetened whipped cream, if desired. The pumpkin lids may be placed atop the pumpkins, or at a jaunty angle along side.

Makes 6 servings

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/6 of recipe): Calories: 230 Total Fat: 6 g Saturated Fat: 1 g Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 4 g Trans Fat: g Cholesterol: 60 mg Sodium: 75 mg.

Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of California Walnuts.