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.
What a great idea! love the recipe, thanks for sharing! 🙂
My pleasure, Manali! I’m so happy you like the recipe; thanks for the great feedback!
This is such a fantastic idea, Allie! I’m totally shoving aside the old pumpkin pie for this pumpkin creme brulee this year!
Hooray! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, Justine! Thanks for the sweet comment, dear 😉
Love that you added pumpkin to creme brulee! These look perfect!
Aw thank you so much, Jessica! They were a big hit with my family 😉
Oh super yum to this creme brulee. I’m allowed to eat a few a few of these, right? They look beautiful!
You’re definitely allowed, Pamela! They are super yum. Thank you so much for the sweet comment!
Pumpkin pie, MOVE OVER! These look so creamy dreamy. Breaking through the top of crème brûlée is one of the best things in life!
You are so right, Erin! I couldn’t agree more; that moment is just pure bliss! Thank you so much for commenting and I hope you’re having a great week 😉
You had me at brûlée than you got me again with pumpkin. This is genius!
Aw you are too sweet, Chineka! I’m so pleased that you like it; thank you so much for reading and commenting!
Okay, now you’re officially killing me with all of this pumpkin!
I think this is my favorite pumpkin recipe yet! Can’t even imagine how good this one is.
Graham + a kitchen torch is always an interesting time, soooo I’m definitely pinning these for later!
Haha, I’m always glad for a reason to break out the torch! Thanks Graham 😉
My mind is blown at how easy these are to make. They look so elegant and awesome…Mmm you had me at pumpkin! It is one of my absolute favorite ingredients. …Now if only I had a kitchen torch…
Oh you should totally get one! They are so much fun. And if nothing else, it’s an excuse to make creme brulee ;P
Oh la la! That looks awesome. You make some awesome stuff girl. 🙂
Thank you so much, Melanie! For the sweet comment and the pin too <3
OMG this looks terrific. They look so creamy and delicate. I wish I could get my hands on just one 🙂
Thanks Miryam! You should try making them they’re so easy and delish! Thanks for reading and for the sweet comment, dear 😉
Allie I love this — that creamy pumpkin custard looks insanely good!
Thank you so much Sue! The custard comes out really creamy and so decadent. I’m so glad you like it; thanks so much for the awesome feedback!
Yay! Thank you Thalia! I really appreciate the pin 😉
I have never had a pumpkin creme brulee before! How delicious are these! Great recipe Allie, pinned!
Thanks so much Thalia!
This creme brulee looks amazing! LOVE the seasonal take on this classic, so good!
Thanks, Jess! Creme brulee is just such a perfect vehicle for pumpkin and spice. So glad you enjoyed!
These are delightful, Allie! I love creme brulee and especially love your pumpkin version. Sounds like heaven on the taste buds. Pinned!
Totally heaven on the ‘buds! Thank you so much for pinning, Jen! xo
Creme brulee is one of my favorites and I love that you made a pumpkin one using pumpkin puree and all the wonderful spices. They look and sound incredible Allie!! Love that gorgeous crunchy caramelized shell – it’s perfect! Pinned 🙂
Thank you so much Kelly! For the sweet comment and for pinning too. I’m so happy you liked the post; thanks for reading! <3
These are perfect Allie! Definitely easy to make and like you said, look like you put a ton of work into them! I’m sure they taste amazing.
Thank you so much Jessica! Creme brulee is one of my favorite desserts, for that very reason. Thanks for the sweet comment, my dear!
I am obsessed with this recipe! I’m having a pumpkin baking fest this weekend and this is giving me all kinds of inspiration. That caramelized shell – stunning.
Lol thank you Sarah! Sounds like you have an awesome weekend planned; I hope you enjoy! xo
Absolutely my favorite dessert. What a fantastic version of it. About 3 yrs ago I spent a couple of nights at the Empress Hotel in Victoria BC. They have a wonderful Indian buffet for lunch. Instead of the standard and most delicious Indian rice pudding for dessert, they had little crème brulee ramekins. I ate very little of the main dishes and had—-I shouldn’t be putting this on the net—-6 of the mini ramekins. It was moderately embarrassing to have so many little empty ones on my table—I was alone. But I didn’t allow that to stop me.
That is too funny Carol! Six sounds like a lot but I can totally understand it; creme brulee is just so irresistible! I’m so happy you liked the post; thank you for the great comment 😉
Oh my goodness these look amazing! I’ve been slowly putting together my allergy-free Thanksgiving menu. I’ll make all my own food for the holiday so my family doesn’t need to feel the pressure of accommodating my allergies. BUT, I don’t want to feel like I’m missing anything by not having their delicious stuffing and pie and macaroni and cheese! THESE are sooo going on my dessert menu. And I won’t be missing cake or pie one bit! 😉
Honestly, I’d take creme brulee over cake or pie any day of the week! I don’t think you’ll feel the least bit deprived if you have one of these in front of you. I hope you enjoy your fabulous allergen-free Thanksgiving and thank you so much for the sweet comment, Lina!
In case you didn’t know, it isn’t a good idea to stick your nose anywhere near that brulee torch. Been there, done that. This pumpkin creme brulee looks fantastic, Allie! I so can’t wait to give these babies a try. =)
Oh no! Sounds scary; thanks for the warning Margaret Anne! I hope you do get a chance to try these- they are one of the best desserts I’ve had in a long time. Thank you so much for the sweet comment and hope you’re having a fun week!