You could say that I love pumpkin pie but the truth is that I love pumpkin pie filling. In fact, I love it so much that one year when I was baking pumpkin pies for a charity pie auction, I made not just an extra pie for my own family but another so that I could go on an all-day pumpkin pie diet. Honest.
As if that story even needs a punch line, when I told my then 7-year-old son that mommy was on the all pie diet, he rolled his eyes and said “pie-yi yi!” Yeah, he was born snarky and sarcastic.
Anyhow, once I realized that I was actually fonder of pumpkin pie filling than actual pumpkin pie, I decided that there was no need to make pastry. So, now I cook up pumpkin filling in a bain marie so that I can indulge anytime. This technique also works well as a single-serve dessert for the holidays. To glam them up a bit for Christmas dinner, I’d chill these flans down in the refrigerator and then drizzle with dark chocolate before serving them in their ramekins to be eaten with spoons. Festive flavours and make-ahead convenience.