Velvety pumpkin creme brulee - the highlight of your cozy fall evening. This dessert is anything but basic.
My family loves creme brulee. I get asked to make it on a regular basis - I don't make it as often as they'd like mostly because they will literally eat all the creme brulee. The last time I made creme brulee was this white chocolate creme brulee and my mother ate six of them in a row. My sisters actually got into an argument trying to get the rest. So yeah, I don't make creme brulee often in the name of keeping the family together and not weigh 35968 lbs each.
But I honestly was missing having creme brulee in my own life. Why should I go without because my family has zero self control over the stuff? And right now I am sitting here in my thick, cozy sweater and Harry Potter leggings and all I can think about is breaking into the shell of some pumpkin creme brulee while sipping on a latte. So yeah, I made pumpkin creme brulee and plan on rationing the rest to my family.
Wish my luck on that - I'll need it!
Is Creme Brulee Difficult to Make?
Making creme brulee is easier than you'd think. The key is to ensure everything is combined well and done slowly. I make the pumpkin creme brulee a little differently than I make something like my blood orange creme brulee. Instead of mixing my sugar in with the pumpkin and yolks, I add it with the spices to the heavy cream to ensure the final result ends up as velvety as possible.
In general, you need to temper your egg yolks which means slowly adding hot cream to the yolks while stirring the yolks constantly. That prevents it from cooking the yolks. Sometimes it happens no matter how careful we are, so the best thing to do is strain your mixture after you've mixed everything together before adding the liquid to your ramekins. Optional, but recommended.
Next, slowly add the mixtures to your ramekins and slowly add your water to the baking dish surrounding the creme brulee. You don't want the water to get into the mixture as it will prevent the creme brulee from setting. To make sure this doesn't happen, I add water by the measuring cup into the baking sheet once it is already in the oven.
Is Creme Brulee Served Hot or Cold?
Creme Brulee is typically served cold. I find that creme brulee will not set fully until it is chilled. It is similar to pudding or pots de creme where it should be creamy, smooth, and chilled. The bruleed top makes a lovely crunchy sweet contrast to an otherwise velvety smooth treat.
Pumpkin Creme Brulee
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1 ½ tsp. freshly grated cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. ground allspice
- ½ tsp. freshly grated ginger
- ¾ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- ⅓ cup pumpkin puree not canned pumpkin pie filling
- 4 large egg yolks room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt plus a pinch for the topping
- 2 - 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the heavy cream, brown sugar, and spices on medium heat until just steaming and bubbling slightly at the edges of the saucepan,
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, egg yolks, vanilla, and salt together. Slowly pour ½ cup of the heated cream into the mixture, stirring constantly. Once full incorporated, slowly drizzle the remaining cream into the pumpkin mixture, again while still constantly stirring.
- Place the ramekins into a 9x13 baking pan. Slowly pour the cream mixture into the ramekins. Put the baking pan in the oven, but do not close the door yet.
- Very carefully pour water into the baking pan, being very careful as to not get any drops of water into the ramekins. You want enough water to cover the bottom of the baking pan, but not enough for it to reach the top of the ramekins. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the sides are set, but the middles are still a little jiggly. Remove from the baking pan and chill completely - about 3 - 4 hours in the refrigerator.
- Mix the granulated sugar and a pinch of salt together for the topping and sprinkle evenly among the ramekins. Caramelize with a kitchen torch, or the broiler in your oven. If you use the broiler method, please keep a careful eye on the tops as they burn quickly.