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This time last year, I was a make your own pumpkin puree from scratch virgin. Aaah, but I was seduced by a Grant Farms sugar pumpkin and have never looked back.

Canned pumpkin? No way.

Well, maybe, but only in out-of-season desperation.

I received two small sugar pumpkins in last Monday’s CSA box and I’m guessing I’ll probably get more in today’s delivery, so I decided to make a batch of puréed pumpkin last night and see what I could come up with. Oh my gosh, this maple pumpkin coconut custard was so good that I ate a whole ramekin of it at 6:45 AM this morning after my early morning yoga class.

Yes! I love breakfast custard. Okay, as a nutritionist, I’m not suggesting you eat dessert for breakfast, but I must admit, it was a rather nice way to start the week.

gluten-free maple pumpkin coconut custard
(adapted from a maple pumpkin recipe from Eating Well)
what you need

1-1/3 cup light coconut milk
1 cup puréed pumpkin, no sugar or spices added *
3/4 cup maple syrup (I used organic, grade B)
3 extra-large eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
dash salt
whipped cream (if you want, but not necesary)
crystallized ginger and chopped pecans for topping
6 small ramekin or custard cups


what you do
1. Either make your puréed pumpkin from scratch or use canned (no sugar, no seasoning). Cut and clean out the pumpkin seeds and messy pulp, leaving the meat. Put the pumpkin in a roasting pan (I use glass) skin side down, fill with about an inch of water and cover with foil. Place in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 40-50 minutes or until the meat of the pumpkin is tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from oven being very careful not to spill the hot water on yourself. Cool and purée in a blender.

2. To make the custard, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place a kettle of water on the stove and heat it up for the water bath. Line a roasting pan (I use a 9 x 13 inch glass pan) with a folded kitchen towel to prevent the ramekins from clanking around on the glass pan while cooking.

3. Heat the coconut milk over low heat in a small saucepan until barely steaming, but not boiling.

4. Whisk the syrup, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth. Slowly blend in the warm coconut milk, a little at a time so the eggs don’t cook.

5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin purée, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Blend well.

6. Add the pumpkin purée to the liquid mixture and whisk until blended.

7. Spoon the mixture into 6 small ramekin cups (about 3/4 cup each). Skim the foam from the top and place ramekins in the prepared roasting pan. Pour the boiling water into the pan about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Avoid splashing any water into the ramekins. Carefully place the pan in the oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes until custard is just set, but still a touch jiggly in the center when shaken. Do not cover while baking.

8. Transfer ramekins to a wire rack and let cool for about 45 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until fully chilled (at least an hour).

9. To serve, top with a dollop of real whipped cream if desired. Sprinkle with crystallized ginger and chopped pecans. These steps are optional, but they sure do add to the custard. I love the crystallized ginger!


You might also like . . .
Nutrition tips and roasted pumpkin chunks
Gluten-free buckwheat pumpkin pancakes

Go forth and let yourself be seduced by a sugar pumpkin!

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23 Responses to “gluten-free pumpkin coconut custard”

  1. Alta says:

    Yum! This sounds lovely. I too have been seduced by lots of pumpkins. What a lovely way to enjoy them!

  2. Jean Layton says:

    My CSA had these lovely pumpkins too, and I just made puree.
    Thanks for another idea for the produce of fall.

  3. Kelly says:

    You used coconut milk 😉 Mmm…

  4. Megan says:

    Um, yum. I used my pumpkin and my acorn squash in the veggie chili that’s simmering right now. This week, I’m totally making this.

  5. Cid says:


    Custard is one of my favourite things so how can this fail to delight. When a particularly daunting day is on the agenda, then perhaps this sort of breakfast would give us the boost we need to get through. The ginger is probably a very good idea but I’m one of those people who love the flavour but find the heat a bit of a challenge… same goes for hot chilli so I must be genetically wired that way… I must consult Sir David Attenborough, strikes me he’s exactly the sort of person who’ll know by just looking at me in my natural habitat 🙂

    Pumpkin custard it is then…. put that on our official menu Melissa, it’s sure to be a winner (GDave’s still on breakfast shift I think so he’ll love making these 🙂 )


  6. greedydave says:


    This is simply genius! I would never have thought to combine pumpkin with custard but it is just destined for success. I would luurve to try this in a custard tart (me making pastry? paramedics on stand-by!) and I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks so much!


    PS. If you get the time can you briefly explain the maple syrup grading?

  7. Melissa says:


    Anything with fresh, organic sugar pumpkin is bound to be good, but there is something about this custard that is absolutely irresistible!

  8. Melissa says:


    You just can’t go wrong with CSA quality pumpkin purée. I just made gluten-free pumpkin, apple muffins and they’re delicious, too. It’s easy to cook well with good ingredients!

    Thanks for the comment and welcome!

  9. Melissa says:


    Yes, I do so much better if I stay dairy free, so coconut milk is my “go to” milk for cooking and my morning coffee. I love it and buy it by the case when it’s on sale at Vitamin Cottage.


  10. Melissa says:


    Seriously, this was so good, but your veggie chili sounds amazing, too. After writing this post, I didn’t get any pumpkins this week. Lots of various winter squash, but no pumpkins. BOO – HOO!

  11. Melissa says:


    It is — and I wish I could have had all you FB girls over for custard and tea yesterday!

  12. Melissa says:


    Hmmm? I’m wondering just what do you mean by your natural habitat? Isn’t Sir David the nature loving scientist? Yes, offer him one of these custards and he’ll be following you home from the wilds.

    GDave has stopped by to say he’s sold on the idea of pumpkin custard, so, as far as I’m concerned he’s got the job as executive breakfast chef. Wouldn’t you agree?

  13. Melissa says:


    Genius? That’s a bit of a leap. Actually, that’s a huge leap, but thank you for the thought. This custard really is delicious though. I ate so much of it yesterday, I felt like the great pumpkin (an American Charlie Brown tale). Although the custard is dairy free, topping it with a dollop of high-grade whipped cream makes it absolutely divine.

    You’ve inspired me to do a post on maple syrup, my favorite form of sugar. Stay tuned!

  14. There are few things lovelier to me than sugar pumpkins–I just love them. I picked up two on Sunday and can’t wait to use them. I also love the looks of your recipe and the custard itself. Delish for sure. Great job! I ate a similar pumpkin concoction for breakfast the other day when I was doing some recipe testing. It sure is fun and tasty to do that now and then. 😉

    Thanks for this recipe … I’ll be making it for sure. 🙂


  15. stephanie says:

    Hi Melissa

    this recipe looks divine. I will be enjoying this just in time for the weekend. Thanks!

    GDave – not that I am a nutritionist or maple syrup expert by any means – but I do believe I have a concise answer about maple syrup grading. Sorry if I am stepping on anyone’s toes here:)
    Grade B syrup is less processed thereby maintaining the integrity of the trace minerals present in the syrup, which equates to more nutrition for us. Grade A is not only more expensive but it is also processed to a higher degree (subjected to higher temps) = minerals are no longer present.

  16. greedydave says:

    Thanks Stephanie,

    Food off the shelf in the UK tends to be rather dumbed down. Maple syrup is maple syrup, as far as our stores are concerned. Thank goodness that internet shopping opens up so many doors. I appreciate you taking the time to explain and it’s whetted my appetite for Melissa’s future post.

    GDave (Executive breakfast chef, it would seem!) 🙂

  17. Melissa says:


    Can’t wait to hear what you think about this custard. This recipe is definitely a keeper and I might even be serving it at Thanksgiving. It really is delish!


  18. Melissa says:


    No worries, I’m thrilled to have people jump into the conversation. It’s what makes blogging fun and entertaining. Plus, we can all learn so much from each other — it’s truly about community and the more we interact, the better the community! Thank you, I appreciate your input.

    After GDave’s first comment and question, I decided I’d do a whole post on the differences.

    Stay tuned.

  19. Melissa says:

    GDave (famous executive breakfast chef at Cid and Melissa’s famous diner),

    A “sweet” post is in the works as I type. And as I dabble in the various grades of maple syrup. Research and development can be a difficult task.

    Oops, just spilled some pancake batter on my computer. I better focus on the task at hand. Slurp, slurp!

  20. Terry says:

    Made this yesterday. It was sooo good. I am adding this to my Thanksgiving menu. Thanks!

  21. […] Click the link for Melissa’s Maple Pumpkin Coconut Custard over at Gluten Free For Good. […]

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