Pumpkin Creme Brulee
Your friends will think you slaved over this elegant dessert, but creme brulee actually comes together in just a few minutes with minimal ingredients! Try my easy pumpkin and spice recipe; you’ll swoon over the creamy, brown sugar custard under that crunchy caramel cap! (Naturally gluten-free.)
Are you looking for a pumpkin dessert this year that is NOT pumpkin pie? Something a little different, a little special, a bit elevated? This has your name all over it, my friend…
Silky, creamy, melt on your tongue delicious. There’s nothing better than a soft spoonful of creme brulee. Maybe those pretentious-sounding French words have you doubting your abilities, but don’t let them intimidate you. The truth is, creme brulee is one of the quickest and easiest desserts you’ll ever bake. And this version is absolutely perfect for this time of year, accented with warm spice and earthy pumpkin, and contrasted with a crunchy caramelized sugar shell.
I tried a new-to-me method for this recipe. I picked this technique up from the folks over at Cook’s Illustrated. Rather than whipping the sugar into the yolks, it gets dissolved into the cream. <– My new favorite way of doing it 😉 You get none of that weird froth on top. Just smooth, satiny goodness. Also, the cream is divided and only half of it is heated. This allows the custard to cook a bit more gently, and results in an even creamier texture. No rubbery creme brulee here!
To make it seasonal, you’ll want to use dark brown sugar, and accent the pumpkin flavor with cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and, of course, vanilla! It just wouldn’t be creme brulee without that sweet and fragrant vanilla. I used vanilla bean paste, but you could definitely substitute vanilla extract or the seeds scraped from a real vanilla bean. And please make sure you buy pure pumpkin puree, and not pumpkin pie filling. The pie filling already contains sugar and spices, so that would just be complete overload!
This is a great recipe for a party because you can totally make it ahead. It keeps in the fridge for several days. You can make it in little canning jars, like I did, or cut down on the dirty dishes by baking it in disposable foil ramekins. And a really fun idea is to pass the brulee torch around to your guests, and let them caramelize the sugar topping themselves!
Hope you guys enjoy this gorgeous Fall weekend! 😀
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Pumpkin Creme Brulee
- 4 egg yolks, (large)
- 1 cup (236.59 ml) heavy cream,, divided
- 3 tablespoons (44.36 g) dark brown sugar, (loosely packed)
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, (or the seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/3 cup (81.67 g) pure pumpkin puree
- 4 teaspoons granulated sugar, (approximately), for bruleeing
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- Place the egg yolks in a small mixing bowl and set aside.
- Place half the cream in a small pot, along with the brown sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer, then stir in the vanilla and spices (off the heat). Allow to steep for a few minutes, then pour in the remaining cream.
- Slowly and gradually add a little of the warm cream into the egg yolks, whisking. When all the cream has been added, and the yolks are warmed, whisk in the pumpkin and transfer the mixture to a spouted vessel. Divide equally between (4) 4-ounce ramekins or canning jars.
- Line a larger baking dish with a towel and place the filled ramekins inside. Carefully pour very hot water around the ramekins, about ⅔ of the way up the sides. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the edges are set but the centers are still jiggly.
- Remove from the water bath and refrigerate for 2 hours minimum.
- Sprinkle about a teaspoon of granulated or demerarra sugar over the surface of each custard, then brulee with a kitchen torch or under the broiler.
I had a similar pumpkin creme brulee at a restaurant recently and found myself craving it and wondering if I could recreate it today.
You totally could! Creme brulee is so easy to make!
Do you know how this could be done in an instant pot?
No I’m so sorry but I don’t. If your instant pot can be set to the oven temp listed, then possibly that could work??
Hi Allie! Mine turned out delicious. They were however a bit grainy (like they had seperated). Can’t think why, any ideas? Thank you! Jules
Hey Jules- so sorry you had difficulty. It sounds like your mixture may have gotten too hot and the eggs were a little scrambled. Did you bake them in a waterbath?
Okay, this is everything I want right now. Pumpkin + creme brulee is a winning combo in my book! YUM!
This is my favorite flavor Creme Brûlée! Your recipe looks perfect.
Such a great dessert option that’s sure to be a holiday hit! Looks so delicious!
You had me at brulee! This is such a fancy dessert- or at least I feel like it’s fancy 🙂 And so good!
Oh that burnt sugar topping is absolute perfection!