Be forewarned: the recipe for no-bake pumpkin custard contains tofu. If tofu is not your jam, please feel free to pretend this post never happened, and I will share something more up the alley of a reasonable person like yourself later this week.
If tofu is your jam, however, then you are in luck. In all of 10 minutes, you can whip yourself up a quick pumpkin dessert. That said, I think the dessert is better when it has a few hours to thicken and chill in the refrigerator before serving, but to each her own.
As you have likely assumed, I am very much in the “tofu is my jam” camp. Meat is not a staple in my diet, so I rely on dishes like spicy peanut tofu on the nights I actually make dinner instead of eating a bowl of popcorn.
The beauty of tofu is it up picks up flavors of what it is cooked along. When blended with pumpkin and spices, you taste little more than pumpkin and spices. Without the ingredient list, I imagine anyone would be hard-pressed to identify tofu as the ingredient that provides this custard its creaminess.
On the flip side, because tofu picks up the flavors of its accompanying ingredients and pumpkin puree alone has little flavor, the custard can run somewhat bland. Be sure to taste and adjust the spices to your preference after blending.
For more about tofu, Serious Eats has a nice guide to tofu that explains everything from the different types of tofu, how to work with it in the kitchen, and recipe ideas. Enjoy!
No-Bake Pumpkin Custard
Yield 4 servings
- 24 ounces silken tofu
- 1, 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
- 6 tablespoons maple syrup (or sweetener of choice, like honey)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- optional garnishes: hazelnuts and crystallized ginger
- Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and process until smooth and fully incorporated.
- Taste and adjust the spice as desired.
- Serve right away or allow to chill for a few hours in the refrigerator (my preference) before serving.
Please be sure to purchase silken tofu (sometimes labeled soft tofu) as it is softer and creamier than firm tofu. The TOFU I purchased came in a 16 ounce package, so keep in mind you will likely need to purchase more than one package for this recipe. A key to successful tofu anything is to drain it well. Gently press the block of tofu between paper towels to squeeze out the excess water before placing it in the food processor.You can easily substitute 1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger substitution.You can also substitute other pureed squash, like butternut or acorn, for the pumpkin puree. You will need around 1 1/2 cups to substitute for the 15-ounce can of pumpkin called for here.
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