• 6 small sugar pumpkins, approx. 400g each, and about 4-inches in diameter (to be used as decorative bowls)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup non-fat or low-fat evaporated milk
  • 6 tablespoons chopped, toasted California walnuts

*NOTE: These crustless, individual custards can be baked either in small, hollowed-out pumpkins or in ramekins. Instructions for both methods are given.


  1. To prepare the pumpkins, if you are using them, remove the stem end from each, and scrape the seeds and fibers from inside the pumpkins. Cut a very thin slice off the bottom of each pumpkin, so they will sit flat, without wobbling.
  2. Alternately, coat 6 ramekins, each about 170g capacity, with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Preheat the oven to 230°C In a large bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt, and stir with a whisk or spoon until evenly blended.
  4. Add the eggs and pumpkin puree and beat until completely mixed. Slowly pour in the evaporated milk, stirring until smooth.
  5. If you are using pumpkins, divide the filling among them, pouring about 1/2 cup into each. Place the pumpkins on a parchment-lined shallow baking pan, with their tops next to them. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350ºF and continue baking about 1 hour more, or until the pumpkins are tender when pierced. If the tops are done sooner, remove them.
  6. If you are using ramekins, pour about 1/2 cup of filling into each. Place the ramekins on a shallow baking pan.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 163°C and bake about 25 minutes more, or until a knife inserted in the filling comes out clean or almost clean.
  8. Remove from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool (cool for an hour if baked in pumpkins).
  9. Serve the custards warm, sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon of walnuts. Accompany with sweetened whipped cream, if desired. The pumpkin lids may be placed atop the pumpkins, or at a jaunty angle alongside.