Photo by Rush Jagoe

Ditch the pie but keep the pumpkin with this pumpkin custard recipe with cinnamon cream from New Orleans chef Nina Compton. A unique but tasty addition to the fall dessert table your guests will love!

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Serves 4

    For the salted caramel sauce:
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • For the cinnamon cream:
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • For the custard:
  • 3 cups whole milk, divided
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • ¾ cup water
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

  • Special equipment: Instant-read thermometer

Make the salted caramel sauce:

  1. In a small pitcher, pour cream. Scrape vanilla seeds from pod and add them with seeds to pitcher. Set aside.
  2. In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium heat, place sugar. With wooden spoon, stir constantly and vigorously. Once sugar has completely melted and turned amber in color, add butter piece by piece, whisking until completely melted before adding another. Whisk for about 3 seconds.
  3. In a pot, slowly pour vanilla cream. Whisk until smooth. Add salt. Whisk to combine. In a heatproof bowl, strain and let cool slightly. Reserve.

Make the cinnamon cream:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, combine all ingredients. Whip until stiff peaks emerge. Reserve.

Make the custard:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk ½ cup milk and cornstarch until smooth. Set aside. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, heat remaining milk just until simmering. Set aside.
  2. In a heavy saucepan set over medium heat, stir brown sugar and water together until all sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and cook without stirring until an instant-read thermometer reads between 210 and 215 degrees.
  3. In a large, heatproof bowl, combine egg yolks and pumpkin purée. Whisk, slowing adding in hot milk gradually to temper yolks, then add cornstarch mixture. Slowly pour caramel into bowl while whisking to combine.
  4. Have large, heatproof pitcher ready. To saucepan, return custard. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until custard thickens and an instant-read thermometer registers 175 degrees, about 3 to 5 minutes. Consistency should be similar to thick pudding. Remove from heat. Whisk in butter, vanilla, rum, and salt. Into a heatproof pitcher, pour mixture.
  5. Pour ½ cup custard into four prepared jars. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until set, approximately 3 to 5 hours. Before serving, top each with salted caramel sauce and cinnamon cream.
  • From Nina Compton, New Orleans, Louisiana

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