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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

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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Join The Conversation
Food Food 8 years
urbanb - the pumpkin flesh ends up being edible as well, i ate some of mine with the custard. These particular pumpkins were the size of a large grapefruit (maybe a bit bigger). I was able to fit two onto a large dinner plate. However, if i was to do this recipe again, I'd use the smaller fist-sized pumpkins.
jgodsey jgodsey 8 years
Actually the custard baked in a pumpkin recipe is in Thomas Jefferson's Monticello cookbook. It was regularly on his table.
emalove emalove 8 years
It looks so cute, but I'll pass on the garlic custard...I would fill it with another type of custard or maybe even a stew/fall soup of some kind.
Diana172 Diana172 8 years
Garlic? This might be a little too strange for me.
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 8 years
I like it, but I wonder if it's a waste of pumpkins. Also, how large are those pumpkins pictured?
bereagirl bereagirl 8 years
I have made this using an apple crisp instead of custard. It is really cute and kids love it. You just mix up apple pie/crisp the way you normally would, put it in your pumpkin and bake it for until the it's tender. The sugar from the filling makes the pumpkin flesh really tasty.
fragiletearz fragiletearz 8 years
Leftover decorations = This recipe the day after Halloween!
hanako66 hanako66 8 years
I actually tore out this page from Sunset and am planning to try it this Halloween! It's great to see how it turned out for you...thanks Yum!
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Looks cute!
kiwitwist kiwitwist 8 years
interesting... not sure if I would enjoy this one
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
What a great idea!!! That is so creative :)
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