I adore pumpkin pie and love making a homemade crust, but this year I have decided that my pumpkin dessert will be this Pumpkin Pot de Creme spiced with some of the usual pumpkin pie spices, but I have added just a hint of ground chipotle chili pepper to the mix. Chipotles are smoked jalapeno chile peppers which are used extensively in Southwestern and Mexican cuisine. A pureed sweet potato dish that I make quite often has chipotles en adobo which are chipotles in a spicy, vinegary tomato sauce. So why not add it to pumpkin, a kindred vegetable in color and used in some of the same ways. I grew up having sweet potato pie for Thanksgiving because my father thought he didn’t like pumpkin. Once my sister made a pumpkin pie, but didn’t tell him until the pie was devoured by everyone, including him. From then on, he was a fan of pumpkin pies.
The pumpkin is still the star in this dessert and has all the ingredients of the pumpkin pie, minus the crust which sometimes can end up soggy and disappointing. The pumpkin filling is poured into ramekins and baked in a hot water bath so you get a velvety consistency. A lovely topping of caramel whipped cream makes this dessert a very special treat for any winter holiday meal.
Pumpkin Pots de Creme
1 (15oz) can unsweetened pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling mix
3 large eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup half and half cream
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Bring water to boil in kettle for hot water bath.
Whisk together pumpkin puree and eggs. Mix in the brown sugar and granulated sugar. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, chipotle chile pepper and salt. Stir in half and half and mix until smooth.
Divide mixture evenly among 8 (1/2 cup capacity) ramekins. Place ramekins in a deep baking pan, place in middle rack of oven. Pour hot water in the pan to about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for about an hour. A thin knife inserted in the pots de creme should come out almost clean.
Let cool slightly, serve warm or chilled with the Caramel Whipped Cream.
Caramel Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1-2 tablespoons prepared caramel sauce ( I used espresso caramels that I melted and added maple syrup) The espresso caramels will be in a post later this week, but you can also use prepared caramel sauce. Espresso Caramels recipe here.
Combine ingredients, chill for an hour. Whip with a hand mixer until soft peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use.