Sunday, April 10, 2011

Pumpkin-Cranberry Custard

I'm going to start off by apologizing for neglecting this blog for so long.  It feels like recently that's how I've started off every single post, but one of the difficulties of the grad student lifestyle is that your life has a tendency to get busy and so other things, like this blog or, say, replying to e-mails, get put to the side.

In fact, I have a tendency to get so busy with schoolwork that my attention to other things ends up somewhat lacking, which is what I'm going to illustrate in this post.  Before I even start, let me explain that this dish was a failure.  I didn't even realize how much of a failure, however, until I reread the recipe and saw what my mistake was.  What happened was, on December 12, I decided to try out one of the desserts in my Crock-Pot Incredibly Easy Recipes cookbook for my roommate and one of her friends because I was leaving to go see my family in Massachusetts soon and therefore I didn't want to make a whole crock pot meal.

The great thing about this recipe is that it is in the "One-Step Dishes" section of the cookbook.  All you have to do is basically throw the ingredients in and mix them all together.  In this mix, as you can see to the right, the recipe calls for pumpkin pie filling, evaporated milk, dried cranberries, and eggs.  If you're looking closely at all the pictures, you might already be able to guess where I went wrong in this recipe.  Anyway, you stir the ingredients all together and cook it on high for four to four and a half hours.

This is what it looked like after stirring.

And this is what it looked like after cooking on low.

The recipe recommends two optional toppings: whipped cream and "crushed or whole gingersnap cookies."  Now, since we're talking about my lack of attention in this recipe, I should add that it was only just now as I'm looking at the recipe to write this blog post, that I realized the recipe says that the cookies can be crushed or whole.  I, as you can see from the image to the left, crushed them.  However, that said, I would probably crush them again were I to try to make this recipe again because I like the way you get some gingersnap with your custard on every bite.

So, were you able to figure out what I did wrong?  I'll give you a hint: while eating the custard, we realized that it didn't really taste sweet enough.  It was edible, for sure, but only if you drenched it with whipped cream (which was sweetened).  If you can figure out what I did wrong, leave a comment below.  I'm curious to see who the first person to get it will be... and it shouldn't be hard to figure out from the images I posted and what I wrote.

Unfortunately, I can't figure out the cost or calories per serving this time because we only ate the three servings before I left to see my family.  Thus, although the recipe says it makes four to six servings, I cannot judge the accuracy of that claim (and in this cookbook there is a tendency for the recipes to make much more than they say they do).  In terms of cost, none of the ingredients are too expensive.  I actually bought Craisins at the store and they were on sale (2 for $5.00) before realizing when I got home that I already had dried cranberries from Trader Joe's.  The remaining ingredients were just over $6.00, though I already had eggs and my roommate already had gingersnaps.  You can probably get everything you need for this dessert for around $10.00, so you could probably estimate around $2.00/serving.

So my overall thoughts on this recipe: it might not be a bad dessert.  It was bad how I made it because I wasn't paying enough attention due to end-of-the-semester business, but I think if one were to really follow the directions it would be really good.  Maybe I'll just have to try it again next holiday season...


  1. Did you use condensed milk instead of evaporated milk? I'm not much of a cook but I know that one if them is sweet.

  2. did you forget the eggs?

  3. Nope, that's not it either. I actually had a picture of the eggs that I chose not to include in the actual post.

    Hmmm... maybe my mistake isn't as obvious as I thought it was.

  4. Nope. This recipe is one of the 4-ingredient or less ones, so it only asks for pumpkin pie filling, evaporated milk, dried cranberriesm and eggs.

  5. You used canned pumpkin instead of pumpkin pie filling.

    ~ Aaron O