A fun alternative to the big slice of pie; use the leaves to dip into the pumpkin filling.
- 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 3/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (see note)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Pie Crust Leaves (optional; can use store-bought pie crust dough)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have ready eight 4-ounce ramekins, 16 ovenproof egg cups (not usually used for baking, but they work fine) or several other small ovenproof dishes.
Using a whisk or electric mixer on medium speed, mix the pumpkin puree and eggs until combined. Add the granulated and brown sugars and mix until combined. Add the pumpkin pie spice, salt, milk and cream and mix until combined. Divide the pumpkin mixture among the ramekins and bake until the top is dry and lightly browned and a knife inserted into the center comes out almost completely clean, 30 to 35 minutes for 4-ounce ramekins, less for eggcups. (The timing will vary dramatically according to the size of the ramekin.) Set aside to cool slightly. Serve warm or cover and refrigerate overnight and serve chilled. Garnish each pot with Pie Crust Leaves sticking out of the custard.
Pie Crust Leaves: On a floured surface, roll out frozen or refrigerated pie dough crust to a thickness of a little less than 1/4 inch. Using a paring knife or small cookie cutter, cut out leaf shapes. If desired, use the tip of the knife to draw the leaf spine on the dough, inserting the knife about halfway into the dough. Brush each leaf lightly with a little milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 375 degrees till golden brown. Store in an airtight container.
NOTE: For the prepared pumpkin spice, you can substitute equal parts of ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, mace and cloves.
Gale Gand, executive pastry chef at Tru in Chicago and host of the Food Network's "Sweet Dreams," also co-authored "Gale Gand's Short + Sweet: Quick Desserts With Eight Ingredients or Less" (Clarkson Potter, 2004).
Tested by The Washington Post.
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