Ahhh, Fall. My favorite time of the year and the season that I truly didn't get to experience living in until my mid twenties. You know. Real Fall. Where the leaves change, you can start to cozy up by the fire, the season's of comfort food has begun and the anticipation of the Holiday's (Of course the good things we anticipate about the Holiday's. Not the rushing around, bah hum bug moments) But, Fall. Love it.
You see, I grew up in Arizona. Phoenix, Arizona to be exact and to be honest I hated the monotonous seasons. Summer seemed to be never ending which led into Spring for the winter months while what felt like the rest of the country was enjoying the changing of the season's.
I still remember it. I have not seen this movie since I was a kid, but I will never forget Hocus Pocus. Come on. I know you loved it too. Who could forget Better Midler as one of the three witches?! Riding around on her broom wrecking havoc. Absolutely marvelous!
The one thing that always stood out for me was the season in which it took place. Fall. The children running the streets in their costume's on Halloween without fear that they were going to ruin them by sweating. Oh, to be able to wear a costume based on the fact that you wouldn't be hot. What was that like? What was it like to be able to walk along the streets trick or treating with leaves on the ground or to be able to say, "Just enjoyed a nice walk today in the fall landscape." Fall landscape? What is that?
Now I know and I am NEVER turning back. Love you Mom and Dad, but sorry, I have been thinking about Fall since I was a kid and experienced the cinematic masterpiece that was Hocus Pocus. And besides, Arizona never felt like a true fit anyhow.
I like to think this recipe encompasses some of the best taste's of this season: Pumpkin and of course pumpkin pie spice and who could forget pecans?! Besides, it is a low calorie dessert so why not indulge a bit more? Enjoy!
1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
2/3 cup sugar
1 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1. Preheat oven to 325°.
2. To prepare the custards, combine first 9 ingredients in a bowl; stir well with a whisk. Divide the pumpkin mixture evenly among 6 (6-ounce) custard cups coated with cooking spray. Place cups in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan; add hot water to pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake at 325° for 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Remove the cups from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours.3. To prepare the praline, combine 1/4 cup sugar and water in a small skillet. Cook over medium-high heat for 4 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and stir in pecans. Immediately scrape the pecan mixture onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, spreading evenly; cool completely. Break praline into small pieces. Sprinkle over custards.
Source: Adapted from Cooking Light Cookbook