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THAI PUMPKIN CUSTARD

MAKES 6 SERVINGS

Start to finish: 7 hours 30 minutes (20 minutes active)

3 large eggs

1/2 cup packed brown sugar, preferably dark

1/2 cup lite coconut milk

5 ounces fat-free evaporated milk

2 teaspoons finely minced Kafir lime leaves (or 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest)

1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons dark rum (optional)

Seeds from 1 vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon table salt

1 cup pumpkin puree

Chopped crystallized ginger or toasted coconut, to garnish

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring a kettle of water to a simmer.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs. Add the brown sugar and beat just until any lumps have dissolved. Add the coconut milk, condensed milk, lime leaves, lime juice, rum, if using, vanilla seeds or extract, salt and pumpkin puree. Beat just until smooth.

Divide the mixture between six 1-cup ramekins. Set the ramekins into a rectangular baking pan (such as a lasagna pan), pour enough simmering water into the baking pan to come half way up the sides of the ramekins.

Carefully transfer the baking pan to the oven’s middle shelf and bake until a knife inserted at the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the water bath and cool on a wire rack. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, about 6 hours. Serve each portion topped with some of the crystallized ginger or coconut.

Sara Moulton, AP



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