Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pumpkin Custard

The experimentation with year's batch of pumpkins has begun! Since Canadian Thanksgiving is next Monday, I am in the kitchen trying to plan out this year's meal. I wanted to make a baked custard with a caramel bottom, but the trick is trying to mimic the texture of an egg custard. I tried this recipe a few different ways, and this version is the best. It's not really like a "real" custard, but it is still really good. I'm also not sure if I am complicating the method a bit, but I have run out of time to refine the recipe further. In any event, the end result is still really good and is a great alternative for those who aren't crazy about pumpkin pie.

NOTE: I have revised this recipe here.

Makes 4 custard cups
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger

- 2 cups plain soy milk
- 1 tbsp agar agar flakes
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut cream
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 tbsp arrowroot

1. Grease 4 ramekins (with 1 cup capacity).
2. Place sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Without stirring, heat sugar until it caramelizes (turns brown and liquefies). Shake pan to melt all the sugar. Add spices, quickly stir in, then quickly pour 1/4 of mixture into each ramekin to coat the bottom. Set ramekins aside.
3. Whisk agar flakes into soy milk and sugar and heat in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to bubbling, stirring constantly, until agar is fully dissolved. Place in the fridge to cool and set (about 1 hr).
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Get a kettle of water boiling.
5. When soy milk mixture has set, place in a food processor with coconut cream, pumpkin, vanilla, and arrowroot. Process until very smooth. Pour into the four ramekins.
6. Place ramekins in a 9 x 13 pan, and fill pan with boiling water, no more than 1/3 the way up the ramekins. Bake in the oven for 45-50 mins, until top has browned and center has set.
7. Cool in the fridge until custard has fully set.

To serve, place ramekin back in hot water, or microwave for 10-15 seconds to reheat caramel. Either eat the custard in the ramekin, or run a sharp knife around the edge and invert into a shallow bowl. If some caramel is left behind, heat ramekin again and pour caramel over the custard.