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Pumpkin Vanilla Custard

I call myself a runner. In fact, I’m going to run a 5k race this upcoming Sunday. Pretty impressive, huh?? More accurately, I will partially run, partially walk, and partially crawl a 5k on Sunday.

I am, in fact, a terrible runner. I can’t breathe. My muscles ache. I’m slower than a crippled snail. It’s not in my genes to be a runner. And yet I run. Diehard runners would probably call what I do “casual jogging”. But when I’ve got my running sneaks on, I feel like a runner. And so that is what I consider myself.

I started running sometime after having my second son. I was looking for a quick calorie burn to get rid of some of the extra weight I was hanging onto, without giving up my favorite foods. But what started as a means for losing the baby weight quickly became a treasured part of my day. The solitude. A chance to be alone inside my head for a few minutes. It made me feel strong and capable. It gave me peace and helped me recover a bit of the sanity that small children seem determined to abolish. And in that way, it made me a better, calmer mom.

I’d hoped to continue running throughout my third pregnancy, but fatigue and the waning evening light had other plans. Now, after months of not running (and some extra lingering baby weight), it’s been an uphill battle (both literally and figuratively) to regain my running ability.

This Sunday will be my first race since having my baby. I’m not ready. Not even a little bit. But I’m going to tie on some bells and run the jingle out of that Jingle Bell race.

I can run for 10 minutes (most of a mile) before I feel like I’m going to die. During the 5 minutes which follow, I start talking a variety of nonsense to myself. You’re a superstar. You’re strong. You can do anything! By the time I get to 15 minutes, I’m desperate and fully out of my mind. I’m screaming the lyrics to Pink’s Perfect in my pitchy off-key voice. They don’t like my jeans! They don’t get my hair! Which makes no sense since I almost exclusively wear sweatpants and keep my hair in an incredibly non-controversial pony tail. I’m quite a sight. Panting, crazy eyes, accusatory lyric shouting. Not exactly sure how I’m going to complete this race on Sunday… Ay! What was I thinking??

Run, Amy! Run!

The run will be good for me though, no matter how long it takes me, because I’ve been enjoying more pumpkin treats and apple pie (post coming soon) than any person should. Including this delectable pumpkin vanilla custard. It’s like a pumpkin pie without the crust. And it’s really good. Good enough to add a few more calorie-burning minutes to that run!

Pumpkin Vanilla Custard


  • 2 cups milk*
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of ginger
  • 4 egg yolks
*Skim milk would work fine if you’d like to reduce the fat and calories.


Combine the milk, pumpkin puree, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and ginger in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking continuously so that the sugar and cornstarch dissolve. Once the mixture begins to bubble and thicken, reduce the heat. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks. Gradually whisk about 1/2 of the hot mixture into the egg yolks, starting with a slow drizzle. (Gradually incorporating the hot milk into the egg yolks tempers the eggs, allowing them to slowly rise in temperature without scrambling.) Gradually whisk the egg mixture into the remaining hot milk mixture in the pot. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, whisking constantly for about 3 minutes, until thickened and smooth. Pour the custard into individual serving dishes and refrigerate until set. Garnish with whipped cream and crushed vanilla wafers.

We all enjoy an occasional pat on the back for a job well done! And as a stay-at-home mom there are no pleased supervisors or satisfied co-workers passing out the pats..only little people who need more apple juice. Urgently. So, it was such a delight to be informed that The Gourmand Mom has been awarded the Editors’ Pick Best Food Blog award by the editors of Parents Magazine. What a fabulous recognition! Thank you, Parents Magazine!

You can check out the complete list of blog award winners here.


9 responses »

  1. Don’t give up on the exercise. It is the best thing that you can do for yourself and even your family. 🙂
    Just some free encouragement. Might try your pumpkin thing I still have a few that I don’t know what to do.

  2. Congratulations on your award! Wow! Well deserved! And good luck in your 5K. I recently walked one with some friends and came in dead last. That’s what you get when you bring 5 children under 6… =) But even then, it was still good exercise! And the custard looks great, too!

  3. You are adorable!!! Great job with the running…I totally hear you on the getting-out-of-the-house-and-doing-something-good-for-me-time! 🙂 Congrats on the award…you really are amazing! And this recipe looks super yummy!!

  4. Congratulations on your award Amy. The pumpkin vanilla custard you posted today sounds delicious. I’ll have Sarah make me some.

  5. This custard sounds so amazing. Definitely worth the extra few minutes of running! Good luck in your 5k and congrats on your award!

  6. I made this custard today and after 7 hours it is still not set. I was hoping to use the custard as a layer in a torte dessert but I think it is too runny. Wil it set overnight?

    • Hi Shanon, Unfortunately, if it’s not set after seven hours, it’s unlikely that it will get any thicker overnight. Worth a try though. If all of your measurements were accurate, my best guess is that you may not have let it cook long enough before incorporating the eggs or in the few minutes after adding the eggs. It should be pretty thick before even incorporating the eggs. The initial cooking activates the cornstarch which causes the mixture to thicken. The egg yolks make it even thicker. Even when it’s still warm, it should be as thick as a loose pudding. Once cool, it should be firm enough to hold its shape…even if made with skim milk.
      I hope that explanation helps a bit. Sorry it didn’t work out for you. I think it would be delicious as a layer in a torte! Let me know if you have any other questions and I’ll do my best to help!

  7. Can you tell me how many servings this custard makes?


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The Gourmand Mom

Good food, seasoned with a dash of life

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