This week's Sweet Melissa Sundays was selected by Debbie of Everyday Blessings of the Five Dee's: ginger custard pumpkin pie. As I sat down to write this post I reflected on the number of variations on pumpkin pie I've made since I started this blog. Two years ago it was the Thanksgiving twofer pie from Dorie Greenspan's Baking - a pumpkin/pecan pie combo, and while I'm not a fan of pecans, this pie was a big hit with everyone else. I love that it marries two popular holiday pies into one, half the work and all the traditional flavor - brilliant! Apparently I took a break from pumpkin pie last year - not a single one on the blog - but just last month I was back at it with a caramel pumpkin pie, again from Dorie Greenspan. Another hit, a really intense, rich take on the original. And today, yet another pumpkin pie variation, this one includes a ginger custard. The thing that I find most amusing is that I've never actually baked a good ol', classic pumpkin pie. Maybe I'll get around to that one next year :)
Our recipe this week was low maintenance and came together easily (putting aside the blind baking of the pie crust, a technique which I still can't seem to master after what feels like a million attempts and advice from some of the most experienced bakers I know. Nope, I'm not frustrated at all :) ) This week's pie starts by letting fresh ginger and cinnamon sticks steep in a combination of milk and cream. The mixture is then brought to scalding before being slowly whisked into eggs, sugar and salt to create the custard. Finally, the filling is completed by whisking the custard into pumpkin puree (I used canned). I halved the recipe and had enough filling for my 6" pie as well as one small ramekin. I baked the ramekin for about 30 minutes, while the pie was closer to 50 minutes. In retrospect, I probably should have taken the pie out a few minutes earlier, since it cracked ever so slightly as it cooled. I resisted the urge to cover the crack with whipped cream, but it wasn't easy.
My mom sampled the crustless ramekin and even though pumpkin pie isn't her favorite, she enjoyed it. I thought it was delicious too - we both agreed the fresh ginger flavor infused into the custard really comes through in the pie, without being completely overwhelming. I don't think you'll miss any of the other spices traditionally found in pumpkin pie which aren't a part of this recipe. Many thanks to Debbie for hosting this week! She will share the recipe for the ginger custard pumpkin pie on her blog today or you can find it on pages 196-197 of The Sweet Melissa Baking Book.