Do you remember the first time you slipped your spoon through the crispy crust of creme brulee? Divine, right? This pumpkin spice creme brulee recipe offers up all that and MORE.
Originally published August 2019; this post has been updated.
Break the crust of sugar on the top of this pumpkin creme brulee and you’ll find the flavors of fall. Pumpkin spice and everything nice!
It’s a wonderful autumnal twist on a classic dessert.
Homemade Pumpkin Creme Brulee
This isn’t a weeknight dessert, for sure. But it’s a sweet and rich option for special occasions. It’s kind of like a pumpkin pie creme brulee, making it a great option for gluten free friends and family.
Heavy cream: This can be labeled either as heavy cream or whipping cream. You’ll find it in the milk section at the grocery store.
Eggs: Fresh eggs, store bought, use what you have readily available. This recipe uses only the yolks.
Pumpkin: You can use canned pumpkin here, or bake a fresh pumpkin and scoop out the cooked flesh. Either works, but you will have better flavor if you can make it from scratch.
Sugar: Use your favorite brand of granulated cane sugar. I prefer organic.
Seasonings: Pumpkin pie spice adds that flavor we love to love. Vanilla adds a richness.
Making this Creme Brulee
Start by heating the cream with the salt and seasonings, stirring constantly until it reaches a low boil. Set aside for 15 minutes.
Beat egg yolks and combine with 1/2 cup of sugar, pumpkin puree, and vanilla.
Temper the eggs by adding a small amount of heated cream. Slowly pour in the same amount of the pumpkin mixture while stirring. Once combined, add more of the hot cream, mixing while adding it. This is to prevent the eggs from cooking and the mixture from becoming lumpy.
Pour mixture into ramekins set inside a roasting pan or casserole dish. Add boiling water to the pan so that it is 1/2 way up the side of the ramekin.
Bake and cool. Before serving, you’ll sprinkle on sugar and use a kitchen torch to make the crunchy sugar topping.
Okay, so the biggest question is this: How do I make creme brulee without a torch?
Yes, this recipe calls for a kitchen torch. But if you don’t have a kitchen torch, there’s a workaround. You’ll cool the custard after it’s cooked, just as called for in the recipe. And sprinkle with sugar, just as the recipe calls for. But instead of using a kitchen torch, you’ll put the custards on a cookie sheet and slide them under a broiler.
You’ll have to watch them very carefully, to be sure that the creme brulee doesn’t burn, but the heat of a broiler will melt the sugar into a nice, crispy topping. This will take mere minutes.
If you have a kitchen torch, then carry on! You can use it to create a perfect little crust on these custards.
Serve these individual creme brulees for a special occasion dessert or as part of a holiday buffet.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- Pinch salt
- 4 egg yolks
- ½ cup granulated sugar plus 4 teaspoons, divided
- ¾ cup fresh pumpkin puree, (or substitute canned)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Cook the heavy cream, salt, and pumpkin pie spices in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the mixture comes to a low boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cover with a lid for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, beat egg yolks and mix with 1/2 cup sugar, pumpkin puree, and vanilla.
- Put a little bit of the heated cream in a small bowl, then slowly pour in the same amount of the pumpkin mixture while stirring to temper the eggs. Slowly add more of the hot cream, mixing while adding it. This is to prevent the eggs from cooking and the mixture from becoming lumpy.
- Mix the rest of the pumpkin and cream together and then pour all of it into a container with a spout, if available. This makes it easier to pour. Otherwise, a ladle is fine.
- Pour (or ladle) into ramekins. The number of servings will depend on the size of the ramekin.
- Place filled ramekins in a roasting pan or baking dish and fill the pan ½ up the side of the ramekin with boiling water. This water bath helps with even heating.
- Bake for 55-60 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool on the counter before refrigerating for a few hours or overnight.
- Before serving, let crème brulee sit out for 30 minutes and then divide remaining sugar between the ramekins, sprinkling it over the top.
- Use a kitchen torch to fire the sugar, making the crunchy sugar top that's synonymous with creme brulee.
Makes 4-8 servings.
If you don't have a kitchen torch, you can put the custards on a cookie sheet and slide them under a broiler for just a few minutes. Keep a close eye on them; they can burn quickly.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 4 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 585Saturated Fat: 29gCholesterol: 358mgSodium: 57mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 1gSugar: 27gProtein: 6g
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