Prized for its versatility, buttery-rich winter squash is a go-to veggie in the fall. We love to serve creamy Sugar Pumpkin Custards with Graham Crumble this time of year.
1 small sugar pumpkin (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks
1 large egg
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 (12-ounce) can fat-free evaporated milk
6 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon egg whites, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup frozen reduced-fat whipped topping, thawed
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 325°.
Pierce pumpkin 5 times with a knife; place on a baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until tender when pierced. Let stand 10 minutes. Discard stem, skin, and seeds. Place 1 cup chopped pumpkin (8 1/2 ounces) in a large bowl. (Save remaining pumpkin for another use.) Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add 1/3 cup sugar and next 4 ingredients (through whole egg); beat until well blended.
Place half-and-half and next 4 ingredients (through milk) in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge. Add milk mixture to pumpkin mixture. Beat at low speed 1 minute. Strain mixture through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a bowl. Discard solids. Divide mixture evenly among 8 (4-ounce) ramekins. Place ramekins in a large roasting pan. Add hot water to pan to a depth of 1 inch; bake at 325° for 50 minutes or until center barely moves when pan is touched. Remove ramekins from pan; cool on a wire rack. Cover and chill 4 hours.
Combine cracker crumbs and next 4 ingredients. Spread mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325° for 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Place crumb mixture in a zip-top plastic bag, and coarsely crush using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Top each custard with 1 table-spoon whipped topping and about 2 teaspoons graham crumble.