I love pie. Some years ago, I even won a red ribbon at a local, upstate apple pie baking contest for both my filling and my pie crust.

That was then.

Since being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis in 2013, I have strictly adhered to wheat-free, gluten-free and grain-free food choices. This has been a good thing since I recently discovered—by taking a food sensitivity / intolerance test—that I have a severe (non-Celiac) intolerance to both gluten and gliadin, two proteins found in wheat. For me, this means: no wheat, spelt, rye, barley, malt, oats, or other gluten-containing grains.

Going wheat-free and gluten-free hasn’t been as hard as you might think. This gluten-free, dairy-free, ginger-infused pumpkin custard is a delectable alternative to traditional pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. But not just Thanksgiving….it is the perfect antidote any time you’re craving a home-baked treat that’s warm, creamy and comforting.

The recipe below is super simple, but quality ingredients matter. I use pasture-raised eggs; pure, Grade A, Dark, Robust Taste maple syrup, a more nutrient-dense, later-season maple syrup; and organic pumpkin puree. The result? A custard that’s creamy, rich, just sweet enough and gently gingery with a mild pumpkin flavor. Packed with protein (eggs), fiber (pumpkin) and healthy saturated fat (coconut milk), you’ll feel deliciously sated. This custard is also great for breakfast!

 

Baked Pumpkin-Ginger Custard
Yield: 8 individual custards

1 pasture-raised egg white
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 15-oz can full-fat coconut milk, BPA-free can
1-1/2 tablespoon gingerroot, finely minced
3 pasture-raised eggs
1 pasture-raised egg yolk
1/2 cup pure maple syrup, Grade A, Dark, Robust Taste
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup organic pumpkin puree, BPA-free can

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place 8 (4-6 oz.) ramekins in a 15” x 10” x 2” Pyrex glass oblong glass baking dish. Set aside.

Bring 1 quart (4 cups) of water to a boil in a pot. Set aside.

Prepare coconut milk: Place coconut milk and 1/4 cup of water (to make 2 full cups of coconut milk) in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Whisking the coconut milk, bring it to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Stir in the minced ginger. Transfer to a Pyrex glass measuring cup and steep, apx. 30 mins.

Prepare the egg white: Place egg white in a medium bowl. Add cream of tartar. Using an electric beater at high speed, beat the egg white until stiff peaks form, apx. 2-3 mins.  Set aside.

Prepare custard: Beat eggs, egg yolk, maple syrup and almond extract in a mixing bowl until smooth and well-mixed.

Once the coconut milk has cooled (it should be warm, NOT boiling hot!), slowly pour coconut milk (with minced ginger) into egg mixture, while mixing with an electric blender at medium speed. Combine well.

Add pumpkin puree to the egg mixture; whisk until well blended. Using a large spatula, gently fold the egg white into the pumpkin-egg mixture.

Prepare custards for baking: Pour pumpkin-egg mixture into a large 32-ounce glass measuring cup; then, pour into individual ramekins.

Fill the baking dish with hot water, about 1-inch deep or so.

Place on middle rack in oven. Bake for 50 min to 1 hour, depending on size of custard dishes and/or how deep custard is. At the midway baking point (25 mins.), turn the baking dish and tent a sheet of aluminum foil over the custards to prevent over-browning.

Custards are done when knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!