Tis the season of the Great Pumpkin! Beginning with Halloween when he takes center stage and captures everyone’s attention right on through to Thanksgiving when he’s sure to appear in and around the traditional holiday dinner and anytime in between. This “jolly good fellow” can make an unexpected appearance in any number of interesting and enticing ways, not the least of which is in this luscious ginger pumpkin custard.
When this happens he will once again have succeeded in stealing the show, by enhancing a dinner or lovely dessert buffet.
Milder in flavor and less dense than the traditional pumpkin pie this dessert will surprise and please the eater with its unexpected addition of candied ginger – lifting it out of the ordinary into the extraordinary!
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and fresh ginger until blended. Whisk in sweetened condensed milk, milk, vanilla and salt until blended.
- Pour into 6 (6-ounce) custard cups. Place custard cups in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Place dish on oven rack in center of oven. Pour boiling water into pan around custard cups to a depth of 1 1/4 inches.
- Bake 35 minutes or until centers are almost set. Remove custard cups from baking dish and cool on wire rack. Serve warm or cold. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon and candied ginger just before serving.
Friday morning is muffin day at the convent. Walking back from church to the refectory for breakfast I try to guess what kind it will be today. Our muffin baking sisters excel at so many varieties it is hard to predict which type will be next. Last week they surprised us with the best banana nut muffins I have ever tasted. We haven’t had their poppy seed or those wholesome raisin bran ones in a while, both of which are big favorites so we could be having one of those today. But as I open the convent door and get a whiff of fragrant spices I know it is neither of the above. I’ll have to guess again!
We like to do a lot of seasonal decorating in and around the convent, mainly using what is produced on our grounds and in our gardens. Oktoberfest and Thanksgiving always feature an abundance of pumpkins — but now that fall is behind us and it’s decor has been remembered, we have started decorating for Advent. What is going to happen to the leftover pumpkins, many of which were still very robust and healthy? They have been sitting in the back stairwell of the convent kitchen waiting there to find out. Well yesterday some kitchen sisters chopped, cooked and mashed them up to be frozen for future use.
Aha! Is that what I smell? Have these pumpkins been turned into a heart warming breakfast for us this morning? Yes! Indeed they have. Our resourceful muffin baking sisters have just created a prize winner. Let’s name it “The Spicy Pumpkin Streusel Muffin” — absolutely delicious! Those chubby pumpkins could not have had a happier ending.Apple Streusel Pumpkin Muffins
Apple Streusel Pumpkin Muffins
- Preheat oven 375 degrees. Grease muffin tins or line with paper.
- In a bowl combine flour, sugar and cinnamon.
- Cut in butter; mix until coarse and crumbly.
- Set aside.In another bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt.
- Make a well in the center.
- In another bowl combine eggs, pumpkin and oil; stir just until blended.
- Add apples and blend well.
- Add to dry ingredients; stirring just until moist.
- Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin, filling three-quarters full.
- Sprinkle with topping.Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Makes about one dozen.