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Pumpkin Custards with Crunchy Pecan Topping

Yield 8 servings
The smooth texture of these custards resembles a cross between pumpkin pie and pudding. The crunchy topping is the perfect complement. There'll be some leftover for you to sprinkle over ice cream or enjoy as a snack.

Ingredients

  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup sugar

How to Make It

  1. Stir together first 11 ingredients in a large bowl.

  2. Pour mixture evenly into 8 lightly greased 4-ounce ramekins or custard cups. Place in a large roasting pan; add hot water to pan to depth of 1". Bake, uncovered, at 325° for 55 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add pecans and 1/2 cup sugar. Cook, stirring constantly, 6 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and mixture is just golden brown. Pour onto a parchment paper-lined pan, spreading evenly. Cool completely; break into small pieces, and set aside.

  4. Remove ramekins from water; cool slightly on wire racks. Cover and chill up to 24 hours, if desired.

  5. To serve, top each custard with 1 1/2 tablespoons pecan topping.

Christmas with Southern Living 2002