Pumpkin Custards with Hazelnut Caramel

Pumpkin Custards with Hazelnut Caramel

1 Review
From: EatingWell Magazine, Holiday Issue 1995

Spiced creamy pumpkin custards are topped with a hazelnut caramel sauce in the perfect dessert for fall entertaining.

Ingredients 6 servings

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Original recipe yields 6 servings
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  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups nonfat evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 10 hazelnuts, ( ½ ounce)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, (Neufchâtel)
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Cognac, or vanilla extract


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  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Whisk together pumpkin, eggs, milk and vanilla in a medium bowl.
  3. Combine brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt in a small bowl. Sift into the pumpkin mixture and whisk until incorporated. Divide the mixture equally among six ¾-cup custard cups.
  4. Set the cups in a baking dish and pour in boiling water to come halfway up the outsides of the cups. Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove the custards from the oven and cool them to room temperature. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
  5. Meanwhile, spread hazelnuts on a pie plate and toast in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes to loosen the skins. Rub off skins and let cool. Chop finely and set aside.
  6. Line a baking sheet with foil. Combine granulated sugar and water in a small, heavy saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook, without stirring, until the syrup is a deep amber color, 5 to 10 minutes. Do not let the syrup burn. Pour the hot syrup onto the prepared baking sheet. Quickly tilt to spread the caramel in a thin layer. Sprinkle on the toasted nuts. Let cool. When the caramel is hard, break into shards.
  7. Process cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and Cognac (or vanilla) in a food processor or blender until smooth. Garnish the custards with a spoonful of the cream and shards of the hazelnut caramel.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare the custards through Step 4; cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. The caramel (Step 6) can be prepared up to a week ahead and stored in an airtight container.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 348 calories; 6 g fat(3 g sat); 2 g fiber; 63 g carbohydrates; 11 g protein; 26 mcg folate; 76 mg cholesterol; 58 g sugars; 6,887 IU vitamin A; 3 mg vitamin C; 326 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 393 mg sodium; 499 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (138% daily value), Calcium (33% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 4
  • Exchanges: 4 other carbohydrates, 1 fat

Reviews 1

October 21, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
The best Thanksgiving dessert ever! This has become a holiday tradition for us. Pros: The hazelnut caramel is spectacular Cons: The hazelnut caramel can be a bit fiddly
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