Spiced pumpkin pots de crème with sautéed apples and pistachios


Les feuilles, as I like to repeat into Lulu’s ear, making sure she notices the melody of the French word. It’s one of my things, to repeat words and notice how they sound. I love the way the word Feuilles sounds in French. It sounds soft. It sounds light.

The essence, after all, of what leaves are.

It’s amazing to watch how nature is moving along so quickly these days. Changing in a snap before we realize, with one day not looking a bit like the preceding one. One morning, we have leaves on top of the trees, and the next day, we wake up to colorful carpets of leaves that cover side walks and gardens. Leaves scattered everywhere. Keeping homeowners busy. Racking. And making stacks of leaves.

And us, playing and jumping in them.

It didn’t take long for Lulu to manage that skill really well. We showed her once, and minutes later she was jumping in too, laughing heartily. So we did it again. And again and again. And again. Feeling warm from the jumping up and down. Up and down. Feeling hungry from being outside in the brisk air.

I had forgotten how sweet it feels to jump in a stack of leaves. Did you too? And then to grab a bunch between two hands, raise them in the air before letting them go–and watch them as they fall slowly on the ground.

There was so much laughter last weekend when we played in the leaves.

So much happiness.

I thought about it and imagined that walking back inside and find spiced pumpkin petits pots de crème would feel just like what we needed.

So I followed my idea and baked petits pots de crème.

I’ve shared with you already my weakness for petits pots de crème. Made with vanilla. Or chocolate. My mother is the one who taught me how to try my hand at them first when I was a young girl.

Years later, I’ve experimented with lots of different variations. For us, les grands. And for Lulu, l’enfant, whose love for these creamy desserts is equaling the love her maman has for them too.

Telle mère, telle fille, non ?

This recipe, in particular, is a favorite. The batter is made of pureed red kuri squash (but I am sure canned pumpkin would equally work, and be very convenient), eggs, sugar, milk and heavy cream, with flavors of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. The dessert can be eaten plain, or served with small pieces of Heirloom apples sauteed in butter and vanilla. And chopped pistachios for crunch and color. Which is what we had.

Seasonal to the core.

Soft like the way a stack of leaves feels under the palm of the hand.

Spiced pumpkin pots de crème with sautéed apples and pistachios

For the spiced creams:

  • 3.5 oz (100 g) seeded and diced red kuri squash or canned pumpkin
  • 1 vanilla bean, split open and seeds scraped out
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup blond cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream


  • Steam the squash with the vanilla bean until soft. Puree; set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 320 F and have six small glass jars or tall ramekins ready.
  • In a bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar. In a pot, heat the milk and heavy cream with the rest of the spices.
  • Stir in the pureed squash.
  • While stirring, pour the warm milk batter into the egg batter. Divide the batter between the jars.
  • Bake the creams in a water bath for 30 minutes, or until the center of the creams is set. Remove them from the water and let them cool on the counter top. Refrigerate for the creams to set completely.

For the garnish:

  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon blond cane sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split open and seeds scraped out
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 heaped tablespoon unsalted shelled green pistachios


  • In a frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the apple and sugar and vanilla bean and seeds. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft (about 5 minutes). Set aside.
  • To serve the dessert, top each cream with the apples and pistachios.
Posted in Dessert, Gluten Free, Life and Us


  1. Je ne me lasse jamais de vous lire (même si je commente peu, un peu noyée). J’aime votre façon de mélanger l’anglais et le français, comme des touches d’exotisme dans une recette. Et j’adore votre cuisine, si simple et savoureuse, mais familiale, toujours. Et vos photos sont toujours magnifiques… Je n’arriverais jamais à capter aussi bien la lumière, comment faites vous pour que ce soit toujours aussi parfait ?!

  2. My daughter loves saying “feuilles” too. As we live in northern Vermont, “neige” is becoming more and more appropriate these days!

  3. Not that I don’t love the recipe, because I do…. but those glass jars… they get my head spinning with joy… where did you get them?

  4. Hello everyone. Many thanks all! Those leaves are incredible indeed. And the colors are just like that. New England is completely surreal when it comes to the change of season. I am completely in love with it. And fall here.

    Wsamrazik, these glass jars are yogurt jars I recycled and brought back from France. I always do whenever I go back.

  5. Darn it – I was afraid to get an answer like this…Do you know of any place in the US that sells this kinds of jars????????? Hoping…………

  6. What a perfect autumn recipe! I’ve found it extremely difficult to find kuri squashes around here (we Finns aren’t such a pumpkin nation I guess) but I was able to track down some butternut squashes which are waiting in my fridge for a lovely recipe inspiration. I wonder if they would work in your pot de crémes?

  7. I didn’t know what to do with the red kuri squash I bought this week-end. Now I know 🙂

    Love the colours of these pictures, it’s beautiful.

  8. …also wondering if I can subsitute U.S. heavy cream with normal European whipping cream?

  9. Amazing, as always!…We love the feeling of autumn leaves too. We can’t be happy without nature!…
    Bea, I think in your homemade baby’s food post you mentioned in a comment that you used some recycled yogurt jars, which I also have. Do you think these jars are suitable for this recipe or should I use ramequins?

  10. No pink feuilles where I live but plenty purple Jacarandas!

  11. Lovely! I make a dairy free version with coconut milk instead of cream. Beautiful autumnal photos.

  12. OH MY! Making this weekend… and I always have trouble saying “feuilles” as I learn my French but I love the word too.

  13. Lovely Bea. I’m really inspired to make this. And so many possiblities. Thank you for this great idea. ;))

  14. Ahhh!! Comme il est joli l’automne, ce tapis coloré, Lulu doit être très contente à jouer avec les feuilles. Les couleurs des photos sont géniales.

  15. Magnifique cette recette! Et quelles jolies couleurs d’automne! Mention particulière au manteau du bout de chou parfaitement en accord avec la saison!

  16. These look delicious. Yours is one of my very favorite blogs. I just love checking in to see what you are cooking up… and your photography is stunning. I especially admire the discretion you show in presenting your family and your stories… all beautifully captured in both words and images, with delicate restraint.

  17. Je découvre votre blog au travers de celui de “pensées de ronde” et j’aime beaucoup. Les photos sont superbes!

  18. again, cute lulu is the star in this blog (aside from the recipe). im starting to love the use of cinnamon and other spices to sweet dishes. simply delicious.

  19. These look and sound absolutely delicious! Can’t wait to try them soon, thanks for sharing! And good work with your blog – I recently came across your site and love what you’ve got here!

  20. I love pumpkin, it’s the most versatile ingredient! these pots de creme look incredible!

  21. I have a kuri pumpkin happily awaiting a delicious fate…this could be it. I love that you incorporated apples and pistachios…and was just reading a great article about Heirloom apples making a comeback in Eastern US states. This was a perfectly seasonal, beautiful post- thanks for sharing.

  22. Quelle photos magnifique! You are such an inspiration. I love the way you put into words what you see and feel. Every time I visit your blog, I feel my passion spring back to life…I love food, cooking, eating, taking photos, contemplating on life while eating, but I don’t know what to do with the passion of mine that bothers me trying to continue with my ordinary life…

  23. Oh, the colours of the leaves! Her beautiful jacket! The words and atmosphere and imagery … I am once again SO enchanted. Thank you, Bea.

  24. You do have a great touch of style when presenting the images on your articles. I love the combination of colors. Plus the fact that you provide great information on your articles. I love spiced pumpkins, by the way.

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  26. Yummm those look delicious and comforting! Your daughter’s so cute in her super sweet jacket 🙂

  27. I just found your website, and I am in love with the photography and the colors in your food and textiles (and leaves!). I will definitely be trying your pots de creme recipe – Thanks!

  28. I’ve just tried to make your pots de crème (with canned pumpkin) and it’s to die for! I have guests tonight, but I am not sure I can resist eating all my pots de crème before they get here… Thank you!!!!

  29. Dr Caso, I am really happy to hear. I hope your guests enjoy them too!

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  32. Je cherchais justement une nouvelle recette sucrée avec de la courge dedans… Like autumn leaves;-)

  33. Oh, how I have missed visiting you while in India! I just read through all that I have missed and am feeling completely inspired to nest, cook, and hit the farmer’s market next weekend!
    Have a wonderful week,

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  36. Hi There,

    I was hoping you could help me figure out what I did wrong with this beautiful recipe. The pumpkin sank and the top 1/4 of the pot had the milky creme. The flavour was great but I have never had a pot du creme separate like that.

    Thanks for your lovely blog


  37. Hi Rebecca, so sorry to hear. And thank you for sharing. Perhaps a problem of temperature of ingredients when they were mixed? Or not whipped enough? I am trying to get an idea as I’ve not had a similar problem before…..