As I post this recipe, I carefully duck under my desk in case anyone decides to toss some virtual tomatoes at me here. Yes, this is another pumpkin recipe posted on the internet. But in all honesty, I didn’t know pumpkin creme brulee was even a thing until last Thanksgiving, so I thought maybe a couple of you might not have heard of it or tried this recipe as well.
Pumpkin Creme Brulee
This pumpkin creme brulee had been my cousin’s contribution to the dessert spread last Thanksgiving, and after trying it, I was immediately in love.
I normally don’t make too many variations of creme brulee as I don’t like tampering with foods that are perfectly scrumptious just as they are. I discussed this a bit when I shared my recipe for lavender creme brulee.
I’m usually very resistant to adding trendy ingredients like lavender or, say, candied rose petals, because more often than not, I find them excessive and sometimes even overpowering.
In the case of the lavender creme brulee, I thought the effect of the lavender was subtle and added a slight floral quality that made the creme brulee even more tantalizing and appropriate for the summer season (which is when I had originally made it).
The pumpkin in this pumpkin creme brulee has a similar effect in the sense that it only enhances the creme brulee’s flavor, rather than muck it up for the sake of fall trends.
This pumpkin creme brulee is sweet, slightly spiced, and just as silky smooth as ever. It’s the dreamy alternative for those who dislike pie or have just had one too many slices. It’s also incredibly easy to make, much easier than you’d ever think.
I find that when I tell people I make pumpkin creme brulee at home, they’re shocked that I can make such a “fancy” dessert. But creme brulee is simply fancy in name.
The truth is it’s even easier to make than pie or most cakes. You don’t even need a kitchen torch to create the burnt sugar topping. Just set those ramekins under the broiler as I’ve done here and 30 seconds later, you’ll have a beautiful crunchy topping to break into with your spoon!
P.S. If you’re interested in learning how to make creme brulee with a step-by-step video tutorial, then make sure you check out my online pastry course here.
Pumpkin Creme Brulee
Pumpkin flavored, baked custard with a crisp sugar topping.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup pumpkin purée
- 1/2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- granulated sugar for the top
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Bring a pot or kettle of water to a boil.
In a small saucepan, warm the heavy cream over medium low heat until it’s scalding hot, but not boiling. The edges will begin to simmer and the cream will get steamy. Stir occasionally.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks, brown sugar, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice together until it’s a pale in color (it should look light orange). Tip: use an electric mixer or stand mixer if you have one so that it does the work for you - use high speed.
Slowly stream the hot cream into the mixture, whisking the mixture as you do. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then distribute the better among standard size ramekins - usually 4 oz.
Place the ramekins in a large and deep casserole dish. If you’ve use a pot to boil your water, use a ladle to scoop the boiling water into the casserole dish; otherwise, simply use the kettle’s spout to pour the boiling water into the dish. Pour enough water into the casserole dish to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Be careful not to get any water into the actual ramekins.
Bake the crème brûlée for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until they’re set and no longer jiggly. Transfer the ramekins to a wire rack to cool. One cooled, cover them with plastic wrap and let them chill in the refrigerate for about 6 hours, or overnight.
Before serving, sprinkle half a tablespoon of granulated sugar over the top of each one, before using a kitchen torch to burn the sugar on top. If you don’t have a kitchen torch, you can place the ramekins on a pan and set the pan under your oven’s broiler for 30 seconds or less. Keep your eyes on them so they don’t burn; the sugar will burn and crisp up very quickly!