Jo-Anne van den Berg-Ohms
John Scheepers * Bantam, CT
There is nothing that I like more than to savor the goodness of homegrown vegetables and herbs through winter’s cold, dark months. Like serving my own pesto bubbling atop warm goat cheese with crackers. Or sneaking into the freezer for my choice of herbed butters. Or serving my pumpkin creme caramel on Thanksgiving.
Pumpkin Creme Caramel
1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla paste
2 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
½ cup cooked pumpkin puree
Pinch of ground cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg (optional)
Pour one cup of sugar into a heavy skillet. Slowly melt the sugar until it is a smooth, golden caramel. Pour the caramel into a 1 ½ quart soufflé dish, swirling it around to cover the bottom and 3” up the sides. Place the soufflé dish in a baking pan of cold water.
Combine the heavy cream, milk and vanilla paste in a saucepan. Heat to scalding and simmer for 8 minutes. In a large bowl, whip the eggs and egg yolks until frothy. Slowly add ½ cup sugar, blending well. Add the cooked pumpkin puree, beating until well incorporated and smooth. Add ever so small pinches of ground cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg if you like.
In steady stream, pour the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture while whisking. Pour the custard into the soufflé dish. Bake at 350 for one hour. Let it cool overnight. Once cool and set, invert the creme caramel onto a larger plate with sides to catch the delicious caramel. Serve with a dollop of freshly whipped cream sweetened with brown sugar and a hint of vanilla.
PS: Here is our favorite recipe for Homemade Pumpkin Puree. It freezes really well.