Although I was once a dedicated pumpkin-hater, it turns out that this vegetable has become quite the staple here in this house since the boy started on solids a year ago. It was so easy to boil up half a pumpkin, mash it and then fill ice block trays to store in the freezer for quick baby dinners. Even today, though he eats (almost) everything we do, Theo still loves his mashed pumpkin. So, every now and then I’ll boil up half a pumpkin and mash it, while roasting the other half for adding to quiche, pasta salad or frittata later in the week.


Meanwhile, I have my mother’s old, worn copy of More with Less on “permanent loan” and have been mining it for inspiration. This cookbook holds so many familiar and well-loved meals that Mum would make when we were growing up. Some of my favourites might even make it to the blog! What stands out most about this particular cookbook is the author’s philosophy of being a good steward with the earth’s resources; a theme common enough now but unheard of in the 1970s, when the book was originally published.


The recipes were largely compiled from home cooks throughout the Mennonite farming communities in the United States, and though not fancy by any stretch of the imagination, they are economical, and tasty. They are also not meals that one would normally find on tables here in Australia, which makes them all the more fascinating to me! While flicking through, I found this recipe for pumpkin custard. Now, I’ve never been a big fan of pumpkin pie, but I was intrigued and earmarked it to try… and I’m so very glad I did.


Baked Pumpkin Coconut Custard {dairy-free}
I’ve adapted the original recipe by using coconut milk instead of cow’s milk, and by serving it in individual ramekins (mostly because they look nice!).

There is a teensy, weensy little problem with using ramekins, in that there always seems to be just a little of the custard mixture left when all the ramekins are full. So if you are concerned about waste, by all means use a large baking dish (8-cup or 2-litre capacity) instead. It will still taste just as good!

Serves 6

1 ½ cups pumpkin puree
2/3 cup brown sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 ½ cups coconut milk, scalded (I use a 400mL can of coconut milk)
1 tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon each ground cloves and nutmeg

Shredded coconut, to garnish

Preheat oven to 180deg C (350F). Line a deep 20 x 30 cm roasting pan with an old tea towel and boil the kettle for hot water.

Whisk all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Place individual ramekins* in tea towel-lined roasting pan. Pour custard mixture carefully into the ramekins, filling them ¾ full or near enough. Place roasting pan on the middle rack in your oven, and pour boiling water into the pan about halfway up the sides of the ramekin dishes. Bake for 30 minutes, or until set but still a touch jiggly in the centre when shaken. Remove from the pan and cool slightly before serving.

For garnish: Toast 1 cup of shredded coconut by placing in a heavy-based frypan over low to medium heat. Stir constantly, until coconut is nicely browned. Set aside to cool.

Delicious served warm with cream or ice cream. Even better eaten cold the next day (or in secret spoonfuls from the fridge at night)!

*The original called for one large baking dish (I suggest 8-cup or 2-litre capacity). If you use this, bake for 45 minutes.

Adapted from the More with Less cookbook by Doris Janzen Longacre.




0 thoughts on “Baked Pumpkin Coconut Custard {dairy-free}”

  1. I think this is my new favorite! A major plus I don’t have to worry about a crust for my no wheat little man. I did make a couple changes based on what I had available. I had 4 egg yolks left from other baking so used them instead of the whole eggs and used almond milk instead of coconut. I also used coconut sugar. There are very few recipes that I don’t modify. Not sure if it is because of my MK status or because of the allergies in the house. Anyway it turned out great and I burned my tongue tasting it. 🙂

    1. Yay! So glad you liked it, Keren. I’m curious about coconut sugar… I’ve used it only once and it didn’t seem very sweet at all. Do you substitute it with the same amount as regular sugar?

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