I have been teasing you, my patient readers, with these Pumpkin Pie Custards for two years. I think that might be vegan foodie cruelty. In my defense, I did get the recipe out in the spring when Let Them Eat Vegan was published. But, who’s eating pumpkin then? (‘fess up if it’s you!)
But, it’s time. I’m long overdue sharing this most fabulous recipe with you. This is one of my fave-fave-FAVE recipes! I make it every year during the holidays and it is a complete show-shopping, crowd-pleasing, “please-give-me-the-recipe” recipe. You can make it without the brulee topping, but it really is quite extraordinary with it!
This dessert is absolutely perfect for Thanksgiving or any holiday celebration. Bookmark it and share it, it’s one you’ll come back to!
Pumpkin Pie Custards with Brulee Topping gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free
These custards are magical—creamy, luscious, and like having a mini pumpkin pie (without the crust!) all to yourself! These are on our annual Thanksgiving and Christmas menus, definitely make them for your holiday celebrations — and with the brûlée topping!
2/3 cup pumpkin puree (pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling), packed (I use Farmer’s Market Organic brand)
½ cup raw cashews
1 ¼ cups plain unsweetened non-dairy milk (almond or soy preferred, but choices is yours)
½ cup unrefined sugar (ex: coconut sugar)
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 ¼ tsp agar powder
1 tsp arrowroot powder
1 tsp cinnamon
Few pinches freshly ground nutmeg
Pinch or two allspice
Pinch or two ground cloves
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp sea salt
Few teaspoons unrefined sugar for caramelized topping (optional, see note)
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place 5 or 6 ramekins (This is the size/type I have, they are about 3 1/4″ in diameter, and 2″ deep, holding about 3/4 cup) in an 8 by 11-inch glass baking dish. Bring roughly 3 cups of water to a boil in a kettle. Meanwhile, in a blender (I use my rambo blender (aka Blendtec), it really is worth investing in for exceptional plant-powered recipes), combine all the ingredients (except the sugar for topping) and puree until very, very smooth. (I use a Blendtec; if you don’t have a high-powered blender, you will need to blend for a longer time, and scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times.) Pour the boiled water into the baking dish to surround the ramekins (but don’t get any water in the ramekins). Then pour the pureed pumpkin mixture evenly into each ramekin. If using six ramekins (mine are 3 inches in diameter—from the inside—and almost 2 inches deep), they will be about two-thirds full; if using five, they will be just about completely full. Carefully place the baking dish into the oven. Bake for 32 to 34 minutes, until the custards are set around the edges but a touch looser in the center. Carefully remove the baking dish from the oven and let cool slightly until you can safely remove and transfer each custard to a cooling rack. Let cool a little more. The custards are best still a little warm, but can also be served chilled.
Make It More-ish! Turn these custards into Pumpkin Brûlée! Sprinkle 1⁄2 to 1 teaspoon of unrefined sugar over the top, and then use either a small butane torch or oven broiler to caramelize it. If using the oven broiler: Set the oven to BROIL, and then place the individual ramekins under the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes. Check after 3 minutes, and then again at the 4-minute mark. If not done, broil for another minute or so. If doing this brûlée finish, do it soon before serving, as the crunchy topping will soften if prepared too long in advance.
With Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend, this dessert would be a perfect addition to your plant-powered menu. I’ll have a few more ideas this week, stay tuned.
photo credit: Anna Pelzer
Have you ever had a pumpkin custard? If you are in Canada, what is your plant-powered Thanksgiving menu?