Fall is full of intensive smells and colors. Pumpkins glow bright orange, yellow, green and other fancy colors. Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg… The kitchen is fragrant with the scent of delicious spices when it’s fall.
This easy low-carb pumpkin custard is a cinch to make. No preheating and cooling before baking. Just whip everything together, pour into ramekins and bake. The custard has velvety texture and smooth taste with luscious pumpkin and intensive spices, which is just what you need when it’s getting chilling outside and you want something rich to feel comfortable and satisfied.
|Per portion if 4 portions in total:
|Per portion if 6 portions in total:
|Per portion if 8 portions in total:
Tips for making the custard
You can use canned pumpkin or self-roasted. Just make sure that the canned pumpkin is 100% pumpkin without any added sugar or spices.
3 eggs make thick and rich custard. If you prefer your custard a bit more fluid, you can use 2 eggs instead.
It’s good to mix the custard mixture along the bottom while pouring it into the ramekins. The erythritol tends to sink sometimes to the bottom, and with mixing we ensure that all the servings get an equal amount of erythritol.
If you beat the custard mixture a couple of minutes, it will form small bubbles. These small bubbles form a thin, lacy crust in the ready custards. The crust is not very hard or crispy, just a bit harder than the custard itself. If you prefer crispier crust, please see the sub-chapter “Tips for variation”.
My experiments with the custard
I made my first low-carb pumpkin custard experiments few years ago. I used self-roasted pumpkin and heated and chilled the mixture of cream, sweetener and spices before baking. I found the procedure a bit too complicated, so I tried how it works if I just mix everything together and bake the custards without any preheating. It worked equally well, so I’ve used my simplified method ever since.
In my next experiments I adjusted the amount of eggs. 1½ cup (360 ml) heavy cream was clear from the very beginning, but how many eggs do you need to get the perfect consistency? Not too fluid, not too dense. And I wanted to use whole eggs, not just yolks, like often in pumpkin custard recipes. I found out that 3 eggs is the ideal amount here, at least to my liking. I prefer quite thick, rich custard.
The amount of sweetener needed also a bit adjusting. 1/3 cup (80 ml) erythritol was a bit too little, 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons (110 ml) was a bit too much to my taste. 6 tablespoons was just great for my sweet tooth. However, since the preferred sweetness is quite an individual thing, please feel free to adjust the sweetness to your liking.
Tips for variation
If you prefer a crispier crust — and if your carb quota allows — you can sprinkle ½-1 teaspoon brown sugar or brown sugar substitute evenly on top of each serving just before serving, and broil the custards in a broiler or caramelize the top with a kitchen torch. Follow carefully the manufacturer’s instructions, and don’t heat too long, just until that the brown sugar or the brown sugar substitute begins to caramelize. Usually this happens in few seconds. Naturally the brown sugar makes better crust than the brown sugar substitute. Count the extra carbs from the brown sugar or the brown sugar substitute, if needed.
If you think heavy cream alone is too rich, you can use half heavy cream, half milk to get even more velvety consistency. Milk has slightly more carbs than cream, though.
Instead of pumpkin pie spice you can use:
- Apple pie spice (delicious with pumpkin, too!)
- Your preferred spice mix containing for example cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, lemon peel, orange peel or fenugreek.
Another delicious and a bit exotic variation is pumpkin chai custard, which I think is great especially during winter time:
- Heat the cream and erythritol with a bag of caffeine-free rooibos chai tea so that the mixture is hot but not boiling. Stir the mixture once in a while. Be careful not to break the tea bag while stirring the cream. However, if the tea bag breaks, don’t panic, just leave the bag there and strain or filter the mixture when it’s time to remove the tea bag.
- Chill the mixture in the fridge for a half an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 300 °F (150 °C).
- Omit the tea bag from the chilled cream mixture.
- Add the eggs and pumpkin to the mixture and beat until well mixed. An electric mixer works best.
- Pour the mixture into ramekins or other small ceramic forms.
- Follow the instructions in the beginning of this post for baking the custards.
NB. The tea bag gives the all needed spices, there is no need to add other spices unless you want to experiment.