Pumpkin Creme Brulee

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Because we didn’t get any trick-or-treaters this year (or any year), I was able to take the pumpkins from our pumpkin-off and cut them up shortly after we carved them in order to make use of all that lovely pumpkin flesh.  And I ended up, after hacking and cutting and boiling and puréeing, with 14 cups of usable pumpkin goo.  So you’re going to get a lot of pumpkin recipes.  I hope you like pumpkin.

I have never made crème brulée before.  But for many years, the Pie and I were in possession of a tiny butane brulée torch.  Then about two years ago I decided we were never going to make crème brulée and I got rid of it.  And THEN, after doing that, I discovered how freaking easy they were to make.  Yes, I did kick myself a little.  Not to fret, though: you can do the bruléeing with the help of your broiler.  It doesn’t do as even a job as a torch, so you have to rotate your ramekins while you’re doing it, but it does work.  And this pumpkin crème brûlée from The Foodess looks too easy and too lovely to resist.  In fact, way easier than regular crème brûlée.  So we’re doing it.

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Preheat your oven to 325°F and set a kettle of water on the boil.  Find a large baking dish and eight 3/4 cup ramekins.  You’ll note here I used four ~1 1/3 cup ramekins.  You may need two baking dishes.

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In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups whipping cream to a simmer.

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In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups pumpkin purée (the plain stuff, not the pie filling), 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 5 egg yolks (save the whites for something awesome), 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, a sprinkle of salt, and 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice.

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Ever so slowly, dribble the hot cream into the pumpkin mixture and whisk it up.

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Divide the mixture among your ramekins and place them in the baking dishes.  Pour boiling water into the dishes until it comes about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

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Then pop that in the oven, middle rack, and bake for about 35 minutes (with my larger ramekins I baked mine for 55 minutes), until the centres of the puddings are just set.

Transfer the puddings to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, then chuck them in the fridge for at least two hours.  You can make these the day ahead, and you can even freeze the chilled ramekins to eat later.  Just wrap them up carefully before freezing.

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Just before serving, you can take the puddings out of the fridge (or freezer) and sprinkle the tops of each with about 1 teaspoon granulated sugar (the plain white stuff works best for caramelizing).  If you’ve got one, use a brûlée torch to quickly and evenly caramelize the sugar and then serve immediately.

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I didn’t have a brûlée torch (see above(, so I used my broiler.  Thing is, even if you move the puddings around under the broiler (easier said than done), they still don’t caramelize evenly.  So I had some charred spots and some spots that were hard and crackly, but not brown.  Not to mention that all that time under the broiler heated up the pudding itself, which is supposed to be served cold.  Alas.  But they were still super tasty, with a nice crackly top, despite what this picture may be telling you.

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Author: allythebell

A corgi. A small boy. A sense of adventure. Chaos ensues.

4 thoughts on “Pumpkin Creme Brulee”

  1. Looks great! I am going to try this because I too have tons of pumpkin goo that will need to be processed, although I have already made pumpkin/apple butter and pumpkin/ginger chutney (the rest is in the freezer). What I want to share with you is the trick of getting that pumpkin goo out of the pumpkin shell (next year of course):
    Just cut the pumpkins in half (if small) or smaller sections (if large) and scrape out the seeds (is the pumpkin is still whole). Line your oven shelves with aluminum foil (if you don’t have large enough cookie sheets), and place your pumpkin sections on them, and bake at 350F for about 1.5 hours (or until pumpkin meat is soft). Allow to cool. The pumpkin goo will scrape easily out of the shell and won’t need much, if any, additional draining. 🙂

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    1. Hi Anke! I *would* have used this technique to process my pumpkin if I’d been able to. I am a huge fan of roasted vegetables. But seeing as I had scraped a lot of flesh out with a spoon in order to make the pumpkins translucent, I had all these tiny bits hanging around that would have burned in the oven. I know that roasting gives a better flavour, but these pumpkins just wouldn’t let me! I have a great plan for NEXT year, though, and I will be sure to roast them then!

      Like

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