Freshly grated nutmeg gives this crème caramel its distinctive spiciness. Regular ground nutmeg can be substituted, but this flavor won't be as intense.
Cooking Light DECEMBER 1998
Preheat oven to 325°.
Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat; cook until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Continue cooking until golden (about 4 minutes). Immediately pour into 6 (6-ounce) ramekins or custard cups coated with cooking spray, tilting each cup quickly until caramelized sugar coats bottom of cup. Set aside.
Beat brown sugar, syrup, and eggs in a medium bowl with a whisk. Add pumpkin and next 5 ingredients (pumpkin through evaporated milk), stirring until well-blended. Divide mixture evenly among prepared custard cups. Place cups in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan; add hot water to pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Remove cups from pan. Cover and chill at least 4 hours.
Loosen edges of custards with a knife or rubber spatula. Place a dessert plate, upside down, on top of each cup; invert onto plates. Drizzle any remaining caramelized syrup over custards. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg, if desired.
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