Maple pots de crème served in adorable pumpkin-shaped Le Creuset ramekins turn plain old pudding into the fanciest fall dessert of the season. Read on for the recipe and to win a set of ramekins!
Some people wait eagerly for Labor Day to roll around just so they can start drinking gallons of pumpkin lattés; others herald the return of sweaters as summer turns to fall. Now that the weather is dipping below sweltering, I'm jonesing to throw on my favorite pair of L.L. Bean moccasins and bake up all the maple desserts I can handle.
Despite the late-winter timing of maple tapping season, its connotations of brittle-leafed trees, woolen scarves, and chilly air makes me think of fall. Truth be told, I'm a year-round maple syrup eater, but it's really in autumn where the sweet liquid has its heyday, what with all the apples, pumpkins, cinnamon, sweet potatoes, and other warm, hearty ingredients in abundance during the season.
And when I have a chance to play with my favorite seasonally-themed bakeware—like these adorable Le Creuset stoneware ramekins—I barely give summer a passing nod on its way out the door, so eager am I to get the festive orange goods on the table. Oven, dishwasher, and freezer-safe, these puppies get heavy rotation until the Thanksgiving turkey leaves the table and the advent calendar opens its first door. (The only thing these ramekins can't do is go directly on a stovetop burner, since they're ceramic instead of enameled cast iron—but hey, they're still wonderfully insulated for baking and lightweight!)
While they're versatile enough to keep soup warm, bake both sweet and savory bread puddings, hold a heaping helping of stuffing or other side dishes, and even store Halloween candy under their cute little lids, I can't resist using my Le Creuset ramekins to make single-serving pots de crème in my favorite fall flavor.
Truly, pot de crème is just a fancy way to say "pudding," but when I do it, I like to fancy it up all the way and serve my individual desserts with a flourish. Isn't it more fun to eat your pudding out of a pumpkin than just a plain old bowl? I thought so.
Imagine how impressed your dinner party guests would be to have their own mini Chicken Fajita Casserole served in these sweet little pumpkins. Dinner party super hero!
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