Maple and Pumpkin Custard 12.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Nov 10, 2017

When you would rather not deal with pie crust -- and consider a filling like this the best part of a pie, anyway -- bring this to the table warm from the oven, in the same skillet you assembled and baked it in.

It can go into the oven just before you sit down to your holiday meal. You will want to use the best-quality maple syrup you can afford.

Serve with lightly sweetened cinnamon whipped cream.

To read the accompanying story, see: What is pumpkin pie without its crust? A one-pan, stress-free dessert.

Make Ahead: This is best served warm, about an hour out of the oven.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 12 servings

  • 6 large eggs
  • Two 15-ounce cans pumpkin puree (may substitute sweet potato puree or butternut squash puree)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups buttermilk (regular or low-fat)
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar, plus 2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (see headnote)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup flour (all-purpose or a gluten-free blend)
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small bits
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • Handful fresh or frozen cranberries (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk the eggs in a 12-inch, well-seasoned cast-iron skillet until well beaten, then whisk in the puree, until well blended.

Gradually whisk in the heavy whipping cream and buttermilk, until well blended.

Whisk in the 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt, whisking to form a smooth liquid. Scrape/wipe down the sides of the skillet to make sure all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Bake (middle rack) for 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the flour, the remaining 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, the butter and pecans (to taste) in a medium bowl, then use your fingers to incorporate and form a crumble topping. Cover and refrigerate until the custard is ready.

Transfer the custard to the stove top (off the heat); it will not be quite cooked through. Scatter the crumble mixture and a few cranberries over the top, if desired. Return the skillet to the oven; bake (top rack) for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned on top and a knife inserted into the center of the custard comes out mostly clean.

Serve warm.

Rate it

Recipe Source

Adapted from "Cast Iron Gourmet: 77 Amazing Recipes With Less Fuss and Fewer Dishes," by Megan Keno (Page Street Publishing, 2017).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at