Maple-Pumpkin Custards with Crystallized Ginger

Maple-Pumpkin Custards with Crystallized Ginger

16 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, Fall 2002

A Thanksgiving meal wouldn't be complete without pumpkin, and here in Vermont we wouldn't dream of excluding our beloved maple syrup. We've combined the two in these elegant custards, featuring the best part of a pumpkin pie and saving calories for a luscious finish of real whipped cream. If you can find it, use Grade B dark amber syrup to get the best maple flavor.

Ingredients 6 servings

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Original recipe yields 6 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 1½ cups 1% milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ cup maple syrup, (see Ingredient note)
  • ¾ cup canned unseasoned pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons whipped cream
  • ¼ cup chopped crystallized ginger


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Put a kettle of water on to heat for the water bath. Line a roasting pan with a folded kitchen towel.
  2. Heat milk over low heat in a small saucepan until barely steaming but not boiling.
  3. Whisk eggs and syrup in a large bowl until smooth. Gently whisk in the warm milk (a little bit at a time so the eggs don't cook). Add pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; whisk until blended.
  4. Divide the mixture among six 6-ounce ( ¾-cup) custard cups. Skim foam from the surface. Place custard cups in the prepared roasting pan. Pour enough boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the custard cups. Place the pan in the oven and bake, uncovered, until custards are just set but still quiver in the center when shaken, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer custards to a wire rack and let cool for 45 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until chilled.
  5. To serve, top each custard with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of crystallized ginger.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 4. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
  • Ingredient Note: If you can find it, use Grade B dark amber syrup to get the best maple flavor.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 210 calories; 4 g fat(2 g sat); 1 g fiber; 37 g carbohydrates; 7 g protein; 23 mcg folate; 128 mg cholesterol; 30 g sugars; 26 g added sugars; 5,158 IU vitamin A; 1 mg vitamin C; 156 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 179 mg sodium; 290 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (103% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: ½ low-fat milk, 2 other carbohydrate, ½ medium fat

Reviews 16

December 25, 2018
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By: jules1349
I have made this three times so far. One of my daughters can not have gluten, the other can’t have dairy. I make these with coconut milk, which works for both of them. Don’t even bother with pumpkin pie anymore.
November 24, 2018
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By: Becca
To have a more blended final result (I was getting a pumpkin layer on the bottom like another reviewer mentioned), I mixed the ingredients a tiny bit differently: I mixed the pumpkin puree with the spices in one bowl. In another bowl, I mixed the eggs and maple syrup, tempered/mixed with the warm milk, then poured about a third of this through a sieve into the pumpkin mixture, mixed well, then added the rest of the egg mixture (again through the sieve.) Mixed everything well again before pouring into the ramekins. It was much less foamy this way, and the spices didn't tend to float on the top. When all is said and done, though, the texture (rich and creamy, just like a custard should be...I did use whole milk) and taste of this dessert is so scrumptious, even WITH the pumpkin layer on the bottom! It was a big hit on Thanksgiving day!
November 15, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Great gluten free alternative when you crave pumpkin I made this recipe during a 6 month gluten free period and continue to make it after I went back on gluten (in small amounts). I have used 1%, 2% and whole milk and prefer whole because it makes it taste a little richer. I also tried adding some vanilla extract and that was awesome. With whole milk and vanilla its almost like creme brulee!
November 30, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Light, elegant, easy and make-ahead After a calorie dense, Thanksgiving dinner, dessert sometimes seems like an obligation instead of a treat. I made this dessert a day ahead which simplified my feast preparation. It was very easy and fast to make - even the clean up. But the best part was how good it was. The pumpkin pie lovers raved about it and those of us who find pie a little heavy at the end of the meal loved this creamy, light and flavorful dessert. So GOOD! Pros: delicious, healthy alternative, perfect ending Cons: need ramekins or pots de creme dishes
October 20, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
We have made this every thanksgiving since we found this recipe 4 years ago I am not a big pie eater so when my husband found this recipe back in 2010 we jumped at making it. It was a huge hit and the fact that it was lower in calories and gluten free was a huge bonus. The grade B maple syrup and candied ginger are key. Pros: Love the candied ginger and the lower calories make it guilt free Cons: Must add topping at the last minute, but worth it
January 23, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
one of my favorite recipes! pumkin pie without the crust:) I love this recipes for many reasons... it is easy to obtain the ingredients, doesn't need crust to be splendid, easy to prepare, and my boys love it for a snack or desert even in the summertime. This is an entirely soothing custard to eat. It is especially popular after visits to the orthodontist. Pros: light, easy to prepare, and flavorful Cons: I can't think of any
December 29, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Gluten Free Dessert Made this for the holidays, we are gluten free so pies don't really work for us and gluten free crusts are just not worth the bother most of the time. This is easy to make, quick to put together and you can make it ahead of time. If your custard seems to have separated I'm afraid that is a sign you let it cook just a bit too long. You have to watch these carefully at the end so they are still jiggly when you take them out. Set but not too set. We served with whipped cream and I made this with my homegrown organic pumpkin, you could really taste the fresh pumpkin and it's awesome. Pros: gluten free, easy to make, no sugar, tastes great, make ahead Cons: a few separate steps, possibility of overcooking
October 14, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Flavorful, light and easy to make I loved this dessert. It is flavorful, not too sweet, has a nice texture and is easy to make. I served it with Light Whipped Cream from eatingwell website and topped with chopped pecans. I think it worked great as a substitute for whipped cream and ginger.
October 10, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Fabulous tasting pumpkin pie substitute Made this for a fall dessert and it was wonderful. My daughter needs gluten, dairy, and sugar free so by substituting Almond milk for the reg. milk I was able to accommadate her needs. The texture was fine and the taste was like eating pumpkin pie without a crust. My whole family loved it so I'm sure I'll be making it again. Pros: Easy to make, sugar free, gluten free
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