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Author Notes: When I graduated from college (many years ago), my grandmother asked me what I wanted as a gift. "Your recipes," I answered. After a period of disbelief, she got down to work, culling and deciphering and typing. A couple of years later, I got the crinkly sheaf of onion-skin paper. In the pack were not one but THREE recipes for pumpkin custard. Had she loved it that much? Were the recipes so different?
I tested two of the three -- NOT the one made with red wine -- and #1 was the clear winner. I do as Gram did, using Libby’s pumpkin: Pumpkin is a vehicle for the spices, so canned is perfect.
This is essentially pumpkin pie with no crust — good for the gluten-challenged and those leery of crust-making. The cream isn't necessary, but don't use less than whole milk or you'll have a watery mess. And for anyone crazed by Thanksgiving prep, this dessert can be baked one day ahead and refrigerated.
- 2 cups canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 3 large eggs, well beaten
- 1-1/2 cups whole milk, half-and-half or light cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 2-quart casserole or baking dish.
- In a large bowl, mix the pumpkin, both sugars and molasses. Add the spices, salt, melted butter, beaten eggs and milk or cream. Mix well.
- Pour mixture into the baking dish. Set the dish into a larger pan and add an inch or two of hot water. Transfer pan combination carefully to preheated oven.
- Bake for 1-1/2 hours or until set (top will rise up and crack slightly). Remove from oven and allow to cool a bit before serving. Serve warm, room temperature or cold, with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream if you've got it.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Non-Pie Thanksgiving Dessert
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