This custard makes a delicious pie, but it’s also perfect baked in ramekins like a crème brulee for cute personal desserts. Using small dishes to create small portions is a great way to... enjoy dessert without overdoing it. Eating like this you cut down on on calories but not on enjoyment or flavor as you’ll see with these delicious little ramekins full of rich pumpkin custard for a lighter take on a classic Holiday dessert. You can make the custard with canned pumpkin, but if you have the time to bake a sugar or custard pumpkin for your pie, the results will be even better. If you end up with too much baked pumpkin puree, freeze the extra, unseasoned, ready to be make pie or some soup.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring a full kettle of water to a boil. Set aside.
Lightly grease 12 x 4 ounce ramekins. Set them in a roasting tin or a baking dish big enough to hold them all in a single layer. Set aside. This will create a bain-marie to slow cook the custards in. You may need 2 baking dishes to fit them all in.
Put the pumpkin in a large bowl and sift the flour over it. Beat until blended.
In a separate bowl, using a whisk, beat together the heavy cream, maple syrup, eggs, sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and vanilla. Pour this mixture into the pumpkin puree and beat to blend.
Pour the pumpkin mixture into the prepared ramekins. Place the roasting tin with the ramekins on a shelf in the center of the oven. If using 2 baking dishes, place them side by side on 2 cookie sheets for easy handling.
Once in the oven, make a 'bain marie': carefully pour the boiling water into the roasting tin until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. You don't want any in the custards.Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until puffy and set, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the custards from the bain-marie and let cool on a wire rack. When cooled, chill in the fridge. Serve.
If you don’t need a gluten free custard, use unbleached all purpose flour.
Roll it out into an 8 inch tart case and blind bake for 15 minutes before adding the filling. Lower the oven to 350F. Pour in the filling and bake for 35-40 minutes on the center shelf of the oven. Cool on a rack.
If you have pastry left over, re-roll it, not too thin, and cut into shapes with a small cookie cutter. Bake for 10-15 minutes when you blind bake the shell. Take care not to let them get too dark. Decorate the top of the pie with them just before it has completely set. Return to the oven and cook for 5 to 10 minutes more.
Eat all sweet, sugary treats in moderation. A little bit of what you like does you good, but don’t overdo it!