Monday, October 3, 2011

Pumpkin Custard with Cinnamon Crème Fraiche

It's October.  The Solo Cook's thoughts turn to pumpkin.

Don't buy the little pie pumpkins.  Buy a  jack-o-lantern instead and carve it!   If you're going to make pumpkin anything, just buy plain canned pumpkin.  Yes, I know it qualifies as "processed" food, but so do canned green beans then.  I've done it both ways; the fresh pumpkins are no better.   And, you know, Libby has a corner on pumpkins; they actually get them cheaper.  So grin and bear it; buy canned.  Make some pumpkin bread and maybe a pie if you're invited to a fall dinner.

But for you, the Solo Cook, make these decadent pumpkin custards.  They come together in literally just a few minutes (3?) and then cook, one at a time, in the microwave in one minute.  And they do taste like your very own pumpkin pie.  No crust to worry about or work off. Though, if you like, you can put an Anna's Ginger Thin (a store-bought cookie originally made in Sweden)  in the bottom of the ramekin for "crust."  No pint of whipping cream going bad in the frig (Actually--does the cream we get now EVER go bad?  Buy organic, no additives cream if you're using it.)  I've added a teense of crème fraiche (a French cultured cream--mostly like very soft and gentle sour cream) in lieu of whipping cream.  A breath (kiss?) of cinnamon and you're done.  You eat, cook.

Pumpkin Custard with Cinnamon Crème Fraiche  Read all directions and notes before beginning, please!

Softened butter or PAM (to grease ramekins)  

1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon (Chinese) plus extra for garnish
1/4 teaspoon  ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch ground cayenne
1 1/4 cups no-fat evaporated milk or 1/2 and 1/2 if you're feeling thin

2-3 tablespoons crème fraiche or whipped cream or Greek yogurt


 FIRST:  Grease (or spray with PAM) ramekins or custard cups.

Whisk all ingredients (except butter or PAM) together and pour filling into ramekins (or custard cups or microwave-safe mugs) until 1/2 full.  Cook each ramekin (or microwave-safe cup) on a plate in the microwave on full power for about 1 minute.* Watch carefully.  If custard begins to overflow, stop oven, let custard cool  for a few seconds and continue cooking.  Using mitts or potholders, remove from microwave and repeat.  Makes 4-5 servings.  Let cool for a few minutes and top with a teaspoon of crème fraiche or whipped cream or Greek yogurt.  Sprinkle creme with a sprinkle of cinnamon for garnish.  Love fall!

Store leftovers tightly covered in refrigerator three-four days.

*As microwave ovens vary in size and strength, your custard may take a little less or more time to make.  You might also try microwaving at 50% power for two minutes.  The other factor will be the size of your ramekin or cups.  It's done when just barely set.  It's custard; it should be able to do a bit of a jiggly dance and not be terribly staid and solid.

Have a good time cooking and taking care of yourself,

P.S.  The recipe for the pumpkin filling is basically from my old pumpkin pie recipe in the 197? BETTY CROCKER COOKBOOK.  It makes great pumpkin pie, though you can bump up the cloves a bit.  This particular amount would fill an 8" pie shell.


  1. Delish! I'm all for making life easier and enjoying more time eating.
    Well done!

  2. These are yummy. You're right. Ha!


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