Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fall Favorites: Pumpkin Custard (dairy, corn, gluten, refined sugar free)

If you've followed this blog for any length of time it's no secret that I LOVE fall.  I grew up in New England and come from a long line of New Englanders.  I think that a love of fall comes with the genes sometimes, especially when you consider how sad fall in Alaska normally is (the leaves change color from green to yellow, the wind blows, the leaves fall off, snow falls...it's usually a pretty quick process).  But, no matter where I am when fall hits, I always go into fall mode when it comes to cooking.

I love the tastes of the fall season.  I love squash (unfortunately I'm still trying to force that love onto my husband and children *laugh*), apples, cranberries...it's a wonderful time where I find myself expanding my culinary creativity every year to work more of those flavors into my cooking and baking to appreciate the flavors while we have them in peak season.

So, I decided to come up with a little series on the blog here for different fall recipes to make to make your culinary life more exciting. 

I'd like to take full credit for this recipe, but I can't.  I found a recipe for Butternut Pudding made with butternut squash in the October 2012 issue of "Everyday With Rachel Ray" and I just tweaked it a bit to use the canned pumpkin I had in the pantry and made sure I got some spices into the mix to make it fit my tastes.  And it is YUMMY!  It's not quite as heavy tasting as pumpkin pie (which for ME is a good thing as pumpkin pie is always a little bit much for me), but still makes a wonderful dessert.  Not the quickest dessert in the world to make (it takes an hour to bake), but it's still SO worth it as it's super simple to make.

It is sweetened with maple syrup, which isn't the cheapest option on sweeteners (since I've had some people ask for substitutions on this in the past), but darn it I LIKE the taste of maple syrup and it goes great with squash.  If you feel like maple syrup is too expensive go to your bulk stores like Costco, Sam's Club or Three Bears (a local Alaska bulk store) and buy it there.  It's a LOT cheaper than buying it at your local box stores.  If you have to you could use an imitation maple syrup, home made pancake syrup or even use some maple flavoring (be sure to add like 1/2 cup more liquid to compensate if you do that), but really I'd stick with the maple syrup if you can if for no other reason than it tastes better and it's WAY more allergy friendly than those chemically laden pancake syrup concoctions. 

And to the egg allergic out there.  I'm sorry, but this one you're just going to have to sit out.  Since this is a custard it sort of depends on eggs to work.

Pumpkin Custard (dairy, gluten, corn, refined sugar free)

  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 can coconut milk (14 oz)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (if you don't have that use 1/4 tsp. each, ground ginger, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Whipped Coconut Cream or other "whipped cream" for topping (optional)
  • Boiling water

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2.  Blend all ingredients in a bowl with a whisk until smooth (I beat my eggs first just to make life a bit easier) and pour into an 8x8 baking dish.

3.  Place 8x8 baking dish inside a larger pan or baking dish (I used a 9x13 baking dish) and then fill up the bigger baking dish/pan with boiling water until the water level is about 1/2 way up the 8x8 dish (I place the bigger pan in the oven FIRST, place the smaller pan inside said bigger pan and then pour the boiling water into the pan carefully while the pan is in the oven.  Makes for less chance of burning yourself doing it that way).

4.  Bake for 1 hour or until set (if you jiggle the pan a little bit and it looks liquidy in the middle it's not done.  It should have the consistency of jello when you jiggle it).  I just leave mine in the oven once I turn it off at 1 hour and let it sit for 15 minutes or so to continue cooking while the oven is cooling down and it turns out fine.
Serve with whipped cream of choice if you wish.

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