This was my year to host Thanksgiving for the first time. I was completely thrilled for the challenge; yet petrified of cooking for my picky family. I wanted to try new dishes, but I knew I had to stick pretty close to the traditional favorites to make everyone happy.
Everyone in my family seems to think pumpkin pie is completely necessary for Thanksgiving. That’s great. But, unfortunately, I’ve always kind of hated it. Pretty sure it’s a crust thing. I generally take a courtesy piece, but find myself looking for more whipped cream to cover it with.
Yes, it was my year to cook which meant I had the power to say no to pumpkin pie. This is my humble, yet I must say, fabulous, take on the old Thanksgiving classic.
Pumpkin maple pots de creme! Now I’ve made variations of pots de creme in the past. Dark chocolate with rosemary whipped cream, nutmeg and eggnog, etc,…and I’ve loved every single one of them. It’s always a sure fire hit. No one could possibly dislike it’s simple elegance. So why not make it for Thanksgiving?! This dessert has the flavors of pumpkin pie in a custardy state without the dry, tasteless crust of a pumpkin pie!
Now I haven’t even mentioned the most important element of the dish.
I whipped together cream, maple syrup (to pair with the flavors in the custard), and bourbon. Yes bourbon. Ohhhh baby. The whipped cream could have been a dessert on its own, and it made me one happy, happy woman.
Please note: I’d very highly recommend doubling the whipped cream recipe as we discovered its true calling the next morning. Plopped right on top of the morning coffee. Irish coffee anyone? Brilliant.
Pots de creme may sound fancy shmancy, but it’s probably the laziest dessert you could make…other than picking up a pre-made, dry pie. No thank you.
Pumpkin Maple Pots de Creme
- 7 large egg yolks
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ¾ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ cup pumpkin puree (or canned pumpkin)
1. Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a 9 x 13″ pan with a dish towel. Arrange six 5-ounce ramekins in the pan. Bring about 2 quarts of water to a boil. In a large bowl, whisk together the yolks, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
2. In a heavy saucepan, whisk together the cream, milk, syrup, and pumpkin. Bring just to a simmer over medium heat. Add the hot pumpkin mixture to the yolks in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour the custard through a fine-mesh strainer into a large measuring cup, then divide the custard between the ramekins.
3. Pour the boiling water into the towel-lined pan, coming about halfway up the sides of the ramekins and being careful not to splash water into the custards. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake 35-40 minutes until the custard just barely jiggles when shaken and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the custards to a rack to cool completely, then chill, covered, until cold, at least 2 hours.
4. Serve with some super yummy maple bourbon whipped cream!
Maple Bourbon Whipped Cream
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream, cold
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp grade B maple syrup
- 2 tbsp bourbon (or more to your taste…it’s a holiday after all!)
Combine the cream, vanilla, syrup and bourbon in a large chilled bowl and whip until soft peaks form.
You may or may not want to double this. This cream is perfect for the pots de creme; however, I found that adding a bit of this cream to my morning coffee the next day was a fabulous decision.