Pumpkin Crème Brûlée

photography Elizabeth Messina

I love custard of all kinds but I like my pumpkin custard to be really pumpkinney instead of having more milk and eggs. So mine probably tastes more pumpkin pie like than other recipes that have more custard. If you prefer a more custardy one than add another cup of heavy cream.

I made this in the square baking ramekins above as well as smaller oval ones. You can also make them in the traditional rounds. The baking time for the custard to set was the same even though the container sizes were different.

I have a large torch that I bought at Sears. You can buy little ones at cooking stores but it made more sense for me just to get the big one and the canisters rarely run out and are super easy to refill when they do. and the torch works even if you don't use it for a year.

Tip: When I pour the water into the pan for the water bath, I already have the container with the crème brûlée in the oven. I just pull the oven rack out about a fourth of the way and then slowly pour water in until it comes halfway up the sides of the crème brûlée containers.

Pumpkin Crème Brûlée

2 cups or 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
5 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, optional
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream (whipping cream)
8 tablespoon raw sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Whisk pumpkin and both sugar together in a large bowl. Then whisk in the eggs yolks, spices and salt.

Warm the cream in a medium saucepan until it almost boils. Whisk in a half cup of the warm cream into the pumpkin spice mixture. Continue whisking while you slowly add the rest of the cream.

Pur the mixture into 7 or 8 ramekins depending on size. (I usually use the ones that are only 1 inch high even though they will be a variety of shapes) Put the ramekins in roasting pans or casserole dishes. pour hot water into the pans until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until custards are just set in the center. About 30 to 35 minutes. CAREFULLY remove from oven and try not to spill water. I use tongs to get the ramekins out of the water.

Chill the custards until cold (about 5 or 6 hours) Then cover with plastic wrap and keep them chilled. You can make them up to this point at least two days in advance.

Just before serving or up to an hour before serving: sprinkle about a tablespoon of white sugar over each pumpkin custard as in the picture above. Then use a kitchen torch until the sugar melts and turns a dark brown. You can also put them under the broiler but I've had better luck with a torch.

Maili Halme Brocke


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