Pumpkin Creme Brulee is the perfect fall dessert. I’ll show you how to make this great sugar crust without a kitchen torch.
Pumpkin Creme Brulee
I love a good crème brûlée when I’m out at a restaurant. There’s just something special about cracking that sugar topping. The firm, yet delicate burnt sugar on top is just so inviting. It’s like bubble wrap – how do you just not pop it?? To be honest, this was my first ever crème brûlée. I don’t own a Chef’s Torch so I thought I’d never be able to make them. But then I saw a magazine that showed drizzled sugar over a crème brûlée and I knew I had to give these a shot at home! I was not disappointed! This pumpkin crème brûlée was amazing! I was able to accomplish a burnt sugar topping that drizzled over the edge and stand up for decorations! I loved all the fun designs doing a pour over sugar could create!
Pumpkin Crème Brûlée
There's no need for a blow torch with this recipe. Perfect Pumpkin Creme Brulee with burnt sugar topping.
For the Creme Brulee
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- Pinch of salt
For the Sugar Topping
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 325 deg F. Place 6 ramekins into one or two baking dishes. Prepare a kettle of boiling water.
- Whisk cream, pumpkin and spices in a medium saucepan until blended. Heat just until simmering; remove from heat.
- Put vanilla, egg yolks, brown sugar and the salt in a bowl; whisk to blend. Temper the eggs with ¼ of the hot milk mixture, then stir all of the egg into cream mixture.
- Fill dishes in baking pan. Add enough boiling water to pan to come halfway up sides of dishes.
- Bake 35 minutes or until edges of custard are set (a thin knife inserted near edges should come out clean) but centers are slightly softer. Remove pan from oven; carefully lift dishes to a wire rack to cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Remove the creme brulee from the fridge to come to room temperature.
- For the Sugar Topping
- Add 2 inches of water to your kitchen sink and use a small, shallow frying pan that will fit flat into the sink.
- Combine the sugar and lemon juice in the small, shallow frying pan or pot and melt over medium heat. Stir the sugar around the edges until it turns a light amber color. Remove it from the heat and cool it in the water in the sink to stop the cooking.
- Immediately drizzle the sugar over the creme brulee or make designs on parchment paper. Cool and serve. Once the sugar is added, it must be eaten or the sugar will melt.
The burnt sugar is made just prior to serving, but the Pumpkin Creme Brulee can be made a day in advance and refrigerated overnight. Just add the burnt sugar to the cups that you are going to eat. If you don’t eat them, the sugar will melt again and get really gross. (Trust me on that one.)
** WARNING!** The sugar takes a few minutes to melt, but once you see it turn amber color, it’s done. I’ll burn very, very quickly!! You must stop the cooking ASAP in the cold water or it will burn in the pan and get really gross. (Trust me on this – again.)
I made my sugar designs three different ways –
- I drizzled it over top allowing it to drip over the edges and harden.
- I made a template of the size of the bowl on parchment paper and then drizzled the sugar in a circular pattern inside the template. Once it was cool and hard, I transferred it to the bowl.
- Similar to the circle, I drizzled the sugar in a straight design and allowed it to cool and harden. Then I stood it up in the crème brûlée for a tall fan effect.
If you get adventurous and don’t mind hot fingers, you can also pull and shape your sugar as it cools but before it hardens. I’m a wuss and my attempts quickly failed.
Which is your favorite? I think they all look pretty neat.
Pair your Pumpkin Creme Brulee with a hot Pumpkin Spice Coffee.
Here’s a few more pumpkin treats you might enjoy!