Maple Harvest Custard

Yields 7 servings.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Variation: use cooked, pureed winter squash for the pumpkin.

8 egg yolks
1/2 cup pure Vermont maple syrup
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Pinch ground allspice
Pinch ground nutmeg
2 cups half and half

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat egg yolks in with the maple syrup. Add pumpkin and spices, mix until blended.

Heat half and half over medium heat until tiny bubbles form around the edge. Stirring constantly, gradually add half and half to pumpkin mixture. Pour into large shallow glass baking dish or divide into heat proof custard cups.

Place cups or dish in a larger pan of hot water and bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes or until knife blade inserted near center comes out clean. Remove from water and let stand 30 minutes. Serve or refrigerate up to one week.

Before serving, heat one cup of maple syrup in a sauce pan until it boils. Continue to heat syrup until it becomes thick. Pour over custards and serve.