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Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie Custard

This dairy-free pumpkin-pie custard is really a dairy-free pie filling. It is baked in individual ramekins rather than in a pie crust, which makes serving it easy. It can be garnished with whipped cream, whipped coconut cream, gingersnaps or pecans – see notes below for more ideas.

  • 425 g (15 ounces) canned puree (don't use sweetened or spiced puree -- just use 100% pumpkin)

  • 165 g of a sweetener of your choice: brown sugar, turbinado sugar, maple sugar or honey

  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 315 g coconut cream (see note below on best brands to use)

  • 3 large eggs

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Have ready about 8 or 9 ovenproof ramekins that each hold about 4 ounces. (I don’t grease them, but you can if you want.)

2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

3. In a heavy saucepan, cook the pumpkin with the sweetener and spices, including the salt. Stir constantly for 3 to 5 minutes once it is at a sputtering simmer. It will look thick and shiny.

4. Process in a food processor for 1 minute, then add the coconut cream. Add each egg one at a time. Add the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides to keep the mixture uniform.

5. Pour into ramekins and set in a bain-marie (see note below). Bake at 375 degrees F until it looks puffy and dull (as opposed to flat and shiny, which is how it looks when it first goes into the oven). The center may still jiggle, but that’s okay – it’ll firm up as it cools. This custard can be made a day or two ahead of time and held in the refrigerator, covered with greased plastic wrap. It tastes best served at room temperature. Refrigerate leftovers.

See below for garnish ideas.


Thick coconut cream (as opposed to thin coconut milk) is important for a good texture. The most reliable brands I’ve found are Kara and Aroy-D, which are thicker than heavy cream. Some brands labelled as coconut cream are actually as thin as coconut milk, so be aware. Shake the container and see if it sounds and feels thick. Do not use

already-sweetened coconut cream.

A bain-marie is a hot-water bath used to cook custards. Use a baking pan or roasting pan that can fit the ramekins with some space between each one. Fill the pan with enough hot water that it comes about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake as directed.

Garnishes ideas: Whipped cream, gingersnaps, toasted nuts (especially pecans), peanut brittle bits, toffee bits, vanilla wafers, caramel or butterscotch sauce.

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