Pumpkin Creme Brûlée

25 Nov

Two things: 1.  I LOVE pumpkin pie.  2.  I may love this pumpkin creme brûlée more.  As I have mentioned before, I am a Thanksgiving purist.  I don’t like to mess around with the classic dishes; they are classic for a reason.  And for me, the most classic of Thanksgiving desserts is the Pumpkin Pie.  So, it was with some anxiety that I decided to stray from my darling Pumpkin Pie  and make this Pumpkin Creme Brûlée for Thanksgiving dinner.  It was pretty great;  a rich, smooth custard topped with a crunchy, glistening layer of caramelized sugar.  The whole dessert feels special, is beautiful and honors the season.  While it certainly hasn’t replaced Pumpkin Pie, it has earned a place on the short list of go-to holiday desserts.

Pumpkin Creme Brûlée – Emeril Lagasse

2 cups heavy cream

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

8 large egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1 cup mashed, cooked pumpkin.

Arrange 8 ramekins or 1 9 inch dish in a metal roasting pan.

Pre-heat oven to 325°

Combine the heavy cream and sugars in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat.

In a medium bowl whip the egg yolks until light yellow.  Slowly add 1/4 of the cream mixture to the eggs, whisking to combine.  Add the cream egg mixture to the remaining heave cream and whisk to combine.  Add nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, vanilla and pumpkin.  Whisk until smooth and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl.  Pour the mixture into the baking dish or divide evenly between the ramekins.

Add enough hot water to come half way up the sides of the baking dishes.  Bake at 325° until the custard is just set, firm with a slightly wiggle in the center.  Remove from the oven and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or over night.

When you are ready to serve sprinkle 2 tablespoons of granulate sugar over the surface of the custard and caramelize with a kitchen torch.  You can also place custards under the broiler for 1-2 minutes.  If you are going to use the broiler method, watch the custards carefully and rotate as needed.

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