Pumpkin custard has all of the great flavors of a traditional Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, but lighter and perfect for those who love pie filling! Pumpkin custards might not be commonplace on everyone’s holiday dessert table, but they are definitely worth trying.
If you love the filling of pumpkin pie more than the crust, then pumpkin custards are the ultimate pie alternative for your holiday dinners.
It is essentially a pumpkin pie filling that is baked on its own, completely skipping the crust. While some might miss the lack of a crunchy pastry, the soft, delicate custard is a great desert in its own right and a worthy replacement for regular pies.
The brown sugar pecan topping is definitely optional, especially if anyone eating has any kind of nut allergy, but it really elevates the custards to a whole new level. It provides a good amount of that missing crunch that the pastry would normally provide and also lends a healthy amount of almost savory nuttiness that the sweet custard lacks.
One other note about making this recipe; make sure you don't accidentally use pumpkin pie filling; you really want to pick up a can of pumpkin puree. Pumpkin pie filling already has all of the flavorings, eggs, and dairy in it, so you would end up with something soupy and overspiced if you buy the wrong one.
Pumpkin Custards Ingredients
Make sure you look at the recipe card at the very bottom for the exact amounts, as there are a few fiddly ingredients here.
• Can of pumpkin puree
• Beaten eggs
• Heavy cream
• Vanilla extract
• Brown sugar
• Pumpkin pie spice
Brown Sugar Pecan Topping
• Brown sugar
• Chopped pecans
• Salted butter
• Whipped cream
• Cinnamon for dusting
How To Make Pumpkin Custards
• Grease four 8 or 10-ounce capacity ramekins or custard baking cups
• In a large bowl, combine together the custard ingredients, mixing until fully combined and smooth
• Pour the mixture into the prepared baking cups
• Place the ramekins in a 13×9 baking dish
• Pour in hot water around the cups until there’s an inch of water in the pan
• Bake the custards for 30 minutes at 350 Fahrenheit
• For the topping, combine the brown sugar, pecans, and butter together until combined
• Sprinkle the topping over the custards and then bake for another 20 minutes until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean
• Remove and serve warm or cold, topping each custard with whipped cream and cinnamon
Why Make Pumpkin Custards Instead of Regular Pumpkin Pie?
For most Thanksgiving traditionalists, you have to have pumpkin pie, right?
Well, this recipe basically is pumpkin pie, albeit without the crust and a lot more creaminess. This is a GREAT option for those looking for a gluten-free recipe that has all the taste of a pumpkin pie, but none of the gluten.
The element of crunch comes from the entirely optional brown sugar, pecan, and butter topping.
This delicious, autumnal dessert is still just as amazing as a pumpkin pie can be and an absolute delight to any guests you might be serving these too.
Plus, there is just something so great about only eat the filling of the pie!
How To Make Your Own Pumpkin Pie Spice
Pumpkin pie spice is one of the most popular spice blends for baking, at least when the year starts coming close to an end and the leaves are changing color.
While you can definitely buy pumpkin spice as a pre-prepared spice blend, it is really easy to make it yourself using my recipe.
While the exact ratios are different everywhere, you can expect to find that most pumpkin pie spice blends are made with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.
This can be tinkered with and substitutions made as desired, but the key thing is to combine all of these typically warming, cold weather spices together, with cinnamon being the main star of the show.
Looking for more delicious dessert recipes? Try these out:
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- Prep Time
- 15 minutes
- Cook Time
- 50 minutes
- Karlynn Johnston
- one 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Brown Sugar Pecan Topping
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1 tablespoon salted butter melted
- 4 servings whipped cream
- cinnamon for dusting
- Preheat your oven to 350 °F. Grease four 8 or 10 ounce capacity ramekins or custard baking cups and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the seven ingredients for the custard. Mix until fully combined and smooth. Pour into the prepared baking cups.
- Place the filled ramekins in a 13×9-in. baking pan.
- Carefully pour hot water around cups until there is an inch of water in the pan.
- Bake the custards for 30 minutes then prepare the topping.
- For topping, combine the brown sugar, pecans and butter together until combined.
- Sprinkle the topping over the custards, dividing evenly between the four.
- Bake for another 20-30 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and remove from the water and place on a baking rack,
- Serve warm or cold, topping each custard with whipped cream and a light sprinkle of cinnamon on top.
- Do not use pumpkin pie filling, you have to use plain pumpkin puree.
- You can make this serve 6-8 people by using smaller ramekins if desired
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.