After enjoying a festive dinner, you will delight in the richly sweet and flavorful satisfaction of this upscale dessert. The custard is also delicious without the addition of the brown sugar topping, so to shave some calories, feel free to omit it or reduce the amount by half.
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup milk
5 tablespoons Splenda
1 x 2-inch piece of cinnamon stick
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons solid-packed pumpkin
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar (optional)
Combine the whipping cream, milk, Splenda, cinnamon stick, allspice, ginger, cloves and nutmeg in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Heat until hot but not boiling.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and place it on a cooling rack. Cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the cinnamon stick from the whipping cream mixture. Add the egg yolks and beat with a wire whisk until smooth. Add the pumpkin and whisk until well blended and smooth.
Place a small strainer over a 4-ounce ramekin. Pour the pumpkin mixture almost to the top of the dish. Repeat this process with the remaining ramekins. Place the ramekins in a larger pan and put in the oven. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the dishes. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the custards are firm and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove the ramekins from the oven and place them on a cooling rack. When cool, cover each with a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
To serve, uncover the pumpkin custard and sprinkle them with dark brown sugar, if desired, making sure it is spread evenly over the custard. Preheat the broiler, place the ramekins on a baking sheet and broil for 30 to 60 seconds or until the sugar begins to caramelize.