Easy Thai Pumpkin Custard Recipe

Perfectl balance of creamy sweetness ready to be enjoyed.Thai pumpkin custard is a popular Thai desert. Think of it as pumpkin pie—except inside out. A rich and creamy custard made of coconut milk and palm sugar is steamed inside of a whole pumpkin. It is often served in slices. Picture a slice of smooth, delicate pumpkin filled with custard. Some like them served at room temperature and others like them chilled. Either way, the taste is phenomenal and you’ll definitely love it. You can find our easy to do-at-home recipe below. Of course, if you’re just not feeling up for the work at the moment, you can always just come on by and just grab a slice for a few dollars at the restaurant.

Ingredients You’ll Need to Have on Hand

Let’s start off with a list of what you’ll need to make this wonderful desert.

  • 1 Kabocha squash
  • ½ cup palm sugar (reduce to 1/3 cup if you’d like it a little less sweet)
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • A pinch of cinnamon (optional)
This is what is traditionally used to make the thai pumpkin custard. In Thailand, it is commonly referred to as the kabocha squash.

A Kabocha squash. This one is a little too big for my personal preference, but you can most definitely still use it and get great results.

Kabocha squash (known as Sankaya in Thai) what’s traditionally used because of the hard, green outer shell and the smooth, delicate orange flesh on the inside. You don’t want to choose one that is too large in size, so choose a smaller one if possible. You can find these at a local Asian grocery store, or you can try looking for them at larger supermarkets. If you can’t find Kabocha squash, you can use Calabaza pumpkin instead. If you’re a little unfamiliar with all these different squashes, get a quick lesson from here.

Make the Custard Mix

Some prefer to prepare their squash ahead of time before making the custard, but my personal preference is to do that after. Why? Because you have to let the mixture cool down to room temperature. While you’re waiting, you can get that squash prepped and ready to go.

  1. Mix the palm sugar, coconut milk, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon in a sauce pan over low heat.
  2. Heat and continue to stir until all the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Remove the mixture from heat and let it cool down to room temperature.

Prepare the Squash

While you’re waiting for the custard to cool down to room temperature, take the time to prepare the squash.

  1. Wash the squash/pumpkin thoroughly in cold running water.
  2. Dry off any excess water with clean paper towels.
  3. Cut off the top of the squash.
  4. Remove the insides. Do not wash the inside.
  5. Set the prepared squash aside.

Steam It

Once the squash is prepared and the custard has cooled down to room temperature, you can get on the final steps to making your Thai pumpkin custard.

  1. Pour the custard mix into the pumpkin.
  2. Don’t cover the hole in the top of the pumpkin, but cover the steamer.
  3. Steam the pumpkin for about 45 minutes. Check to see if it’s ready by poking a fork into the custard. If it’s wet and runny, then give it a few more minutes.
  4. Remove the custard from the steamer and allow it to cool down to room temperature. The custard will set inside the pumpkin during this time.
  5. Cut the pumpkin into desired slices and serve. You can choose to serve it at room temperature, or cooled.

A little note the custard. Use an instant read thermometer to check for readiness. The thermometer should read 160 degrees. Don’t cook the custard to anything above 175 degrees Fahrenheit or the eggs in the mixture will curdle. If the egg curdles, you will get an overpowering “eggy” taste that will completely ruin the custard.

Following this Thai pumpkin custard desert recipe, you should end up with something very close to what we offer at the restaurant. If you want exactly what we serve, you’ll have to stop on by and grab a slice.