Recipe Image

Pumpkin Custards with Hazelnut Caramel

  • 30 m
  • 3 h 30 m
EatingWell Test Kitchen
“Spiced creamy pumpkin custards are topped with a hazelnut caramel sauce in the perfect dessert for fall entertaining.”

Ingredients

    • 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

Directions

  • 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.
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