Pie Week: Pumpkin pots de crème with toffee pecan crumble

Mass Appeal

Betty Rosbottom, cooking teacher and author, showed us how to make a crust-less option for Pie Week.


2 cup heavy or whipping cream, divided
One 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (Do not buy pumpkin puree seasoned with spices.)
3 /4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
8 large egg yolks
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans (See note.)
1/4 cup English toffee bits (See note.)


  1. Arrange a rack at center and at lower positions and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Have ready twelve 1/2 -cup ramekins and two large baking pans. (9- by 13-inch pyrex dishes work well.)
  2. Whisk together 1 1/2 cups cream, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a heavy, medium saucepan over medium heat, and stir until lukewarm. Remove from heat.
  3. Place egg yolks in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed to blend. Gradually beat in sugar until mixture thickens and is lighter in color, 2 to 3 minutes or longer. Reduce speed and add pumpkin mixture and bourbon; beat until just blended.
  4. Transfer custard mixture to a large measuring cup with a spout, and pour into the ramekins. Place half the ramekins in each of the baking pans. Pour enough hot water in the baking pans to come half way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake custards until a tester comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.
  5. While custards are baking, mix together the pecans and toffee bits in a small bowl. Remove custards from oven and while still in the baking pans, sprinkle the center of each custard with some of the pecan/toffee mixture.
  6. Carefully with pot holders, transfer ramekins to cooling racks, and cool an hour. Cover custards with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, 2 to 3 hours or overnight. (Custards can be prepared 2 days ahead; keep refrigerated. Bring to room temperature 15 to 30 minutes before serving.)
  7. To serve, whip remaining 1/2 cup cream and garnish each serving with a generous dollop. Serves 12.

Note: To toast pecans, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake on center shelf until lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven and transfer nuts to a work surface to cool.

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