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52 Weeks of Baking: Baby Pumpkins with Garlic Custard


I was flipping through the lastest issue of Sunset magazine when these cute little pumpkins caught my eye. Not only were they adorably festive, but they were full of custard too! I immediately sent YumJimmy to the store to find pumpkins, while I prepped the kitchen for baking. Unfortunately, the store didn't have baby pumpkins, so I had to make do with mid-sized ones. The custard, which is a savory one, came out wonderfully silky — almost like a silken tofu — and the flavor was subtle — almost too subtle, I actually had to load up on salt and pepper afterwards — and it was so fun to look at too!

While this particular recipe is savory —and, if using the right pumpkins, comes together in 30 minutes — the pumpkin vessel can be used for any flavor custard. I definitely plan on trying it again with a pumpkin custard!

If all of this pumpkin talk has you interested, check out the recipe, just read more


The amount of custard the recipe makes is enough to fill six small pumpkins, or one medium-sized one. If you use a medium-sized pumpkin, be sure to up the amount of baking time; they will need to be in the oven for about an hour. Also, if using a medium-sized pumpkins, omit the first step where the pumpkins are baked empty.

If you try this recipe, definitely look for small fist-sized pumpkins — the presentation is much cuter — and make sure your garlic is fresh. The flavor is really subtle, but the texture is lovely and smooth.

Baby Pumpkins with Garlic Custard
From Sunset, October 2007

6 small pumpkins
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon finely shredded parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Bake pumpkins until just tender, about 20 minutes. Cut off tops and set aside, then scoop out seeds.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together heavy cream and whole milk with garlic, parmesan cheese, eggs, salt, and white pepper. Pour mixture into a measuring cup.
  3. Arrange pumpkins in a baking dish large enough to hold them without crowding. Divide custard mixture among pumpkins and cover with tops.
  4. Pour enough water into dish to reach halfway up sides. Bake until custard jiggles only slightly, about 30 minutes. Remove from dish and let cool 5 minutes.

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