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Pumpkin-Coconut Custards with Walnut Crumble

December 26, 2012

Pumpkin Custard (3)DECEMBER 24th, 2012 — For Christmas dessert, I tried my best to lean away from pies, and yet I also wanted to keep the dessert relatively light, since I tend to indulge easily on sweets, so I thus refrained from making something dense in sugar, butter, and flour, such as a bread pudding.

I recently learned about the Paleo diet, which is supposed to emulate the diet of the hunter-gatherers of the Paleolithic era. This means excluding grains, dairy, sugar, and salt (as much as possible). So how does a custard fit into such parameters?

So what did you do?
Because I wanted to add some texture (by which I mean a crunch) to the dessert, I decided to make a crust completely out of walnuts.
I ground 2 cups of walnuts, and mixed it thoroughly with 1 tbsp butter, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 4 tbsp brown sugar, some salt, and 1 tbsp water. At some point you will have to mix this with your hands and get the butter and sugar distributed evenly throughout the mixture. I placed spoonfuls of these at the bottom of a muffin tin (the leftover went into a small casserole dish), and baked the crust at 325 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

While waiting, whisk together the following ingredients in a saucepan over medium-low heat:
-14 oz. can of pumpkin
-14 oz. of coconut milk (<–surprised to find 0 mg cholesterol in the light kind from Trader Joe’s)
-1/3 cup maple syrup
-2 tsp ground cinnamon
-1 tsp vanilla extract
Make sure it never surpasses a simmer. You don’t want to burn out the flavor.

In a separate small bowl, dissolve 1-2 tbsp of unflavored gelatin into 1/4 cup lukewarm water.
Then, add this to the pumpkin mixture.

Spoon the mixture on top of the walnut crusts and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

For some delightful plating, flip your custards over, the way you would for pineapple upside-down cake. (Conveniently for me, I used paper baking cups for easy removal and transportation.) Makes for a “reduced-guilt,” small portioned dessert!

Merry Christmas!

Lessons Learned?
As you could guess from the lack of sugar in the recipe, the custards are not terribly sweet (so my mom is a fan), so the candied crust and a little dollop of whipped cream is a good call.
My custard also was not firm enough and fell apart very easily. I added 1 packet of Knox unflavored gelatin, which came out to be just shy under 1 tbsp, and I wish I had added another packet, or half of one.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 11, 2013 4:52 PM

    This looks delicious! Can’t wait to try this out šŸ™‚

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