Pumpkin Creme Brulee




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I never thought I would meet a dessert I enjoyed more than creme brulee - until I met pumpkin creme brulee. Baked and served in mini pumpkins, this treat is as adorable as it is delicious! Surprisingly easy to whip up, this dessert will be a sure knock-out at your next dinner or party.

I started with a recipe from the New York Times, but was frustrated at the measurements. It left me with one egg, half a container of cream, and half a can of pumpkin left to use up. So I increased the recipe to accommodate my desire to have no left over ingredients going to rot in my fridge before I could figure out what to do with them. It makes a lot of dessert, but I could easily eat two in one sitting, so I trust you will have no trouble devouring the results!

Step 1: Ingredients

adapted from NY Times Magazine:

10-12 mini decorative pumpkins - I tried an assembly of decorative gourds, but found them too difficult to carve into
1/4 cup (62g) sugar, plus 3/4 cup (188g) = 1 cup (250g) total
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (or another 1/2 of cinnamon)
6 egg yolks
2 cups (1 pint / 475ml) heavy cream
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean, split
1 14oz can (~1 3/4 cups / 415ml) pumpkin puree

Step 2: Pumpkin Prep

You can certainly use ramekins instead of tiny pumpkins for this and bake them in a water bath. It will still be delicious! Either way, preheat your oven to 350F (175C).

Cut the tops off of your pumpkins. Be super careful with this step, as I attempted to cut my finger off at the same time. I don't recommend it. Anyway, keep the tops for presentation later!

Scoop out the insides of the pumpkins, leaving about a 1/2" wall around the sides.

Mix together 1/4 cup of sugar with spices (cinnamon and/or nutmeg) and sprinkle inside the pumpkins. I like to treat this like I'm flouring a cake pan - dump it in, swirl it around, dump the excess out.

Wrap each pumpkin individually in foil (leaving the tops off) and bake on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes.

Step 3: The Creme

In a saucepan, heat up the cream, cinnamon stick, and vanilla bean. Bring to a simmer.

In a heatproof bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup of sugar and egg yolks.

Pour the cream mixture into the egg mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and whisk together.

Add the pumpkin puree and whisk to combine.

Step 4: Combine

Remove the pumpkins from their foil and load up with with the cream mixture. It's not going to rise or anything, so fill them to their brims!

Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 20-40 minutes. Mine took 30 to get to the point where they were set on the edges but still jiggly in the middle. If they are still liquid when you first check them, let them bake longer.

Cool at room temperature.

Step 5: Brulee

Now for the fun.

Sprinkle an even layer of sugar on top of the pumpkins. AND TORCH THEM!!!!!

If you didn't recently get an awesome kitchen torch as a wedding present (thanks again Angie!) or a prize in the Scoochmaroo Fire Challenge, then you can use your broiler.

Serve warm or at room temp - both are good - with the pumpkin caps displayed on the side for added cuteness.




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    30 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I have made this already, and OMG!!!!! This is to die for!!!!

    If I have said it once, I've said it a thousand times, this Lady is an amazing Chef!!

    To say this is Delicious, is like saying the Titanic was just another boat....WOW!! I can't say enough great things about the stuff this Lady has posted on here....makes my mouth water just thinking about it...LOL

    TY for posting Ma'am. Incredible!!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Glad to see brulee, props for the recipe! I have three topics for discussion:

    Firstly, opening hard shelled fruit&veg is a hazard, an open handed cutting technique works best, I learnt it from a street vendor hacking up a coconut with a machete/panga. Scooch, I glad that all you digits are still attached.

    Secondly, the brulee recipy I follow says to "scold" the cream, heat to just below bouling point, through scolding some of the dairy properties are enhanced. Also allowing the brulee to "set" in the fridge improves the texture.

    Finally, what are you suggestions toward using the egg white? We make a fry-up breakfast, but I suppose (spelling?) a Pavlova, could work well?

    2 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    No meaness intended, but the word is "scAld". And ty for your comments on the technique. I never knew what the scalding produced. Now I know.


    3 years ago

    Ooooh, can't wait to try these. Long ago and far away, when I was a little girl, my mom would make peach creme brulee. Good memories. Looking forward to this!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Creme brulee is my favorite dessert and we are gowimg pumpkin in our garden so I will have to make these soon!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I made these for Thanksgiving this year and everyone *raved* over them! Thanks for a fun project! (And I will definitely be making them again! :-)


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Diabetics can eat sugar if they work it in as part of their daily carb allowance. Some folks say you can use Splenda, but i think it would taste terrible, personally.


    This recipe is amazing- i never thought I'd like anything pumpkin. Thank you so much for posting this! And its really cute how you can close the tops to serve.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Another awesome Scoochmaroo delect-ible.

    And I didn't think it was possible to improve on Creme Brulee - my all time favorite dessert.
    Honestly folks, how DOES she do it - time & time again.

    As for the torch, I don't have a kitchen torch so I use my propane shop torch - must be a guy thing. Eh, it works to. :-)


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Nice idea, I'll have to try this sometime. Probably next year as it looks like the pumpkins, or at least the little ones are finished here.

    This reminds me of a recipe I made (again) recently: Roast Pumpkin Fondue. You basically bake a fondue inside a pumpkin/s: In a seasoned, scooped out pumpkin (I used one about 6" diameter) alternate layers of grated Gruyere/Emmental with some garlic croutons (large, homemade, crunchy outside, chewy inside are best) and really pack it all in there, then pour in some stock, cream and/or white wine, put the lid back on the pumpkin, rub the outside with a little oil of your choice and bake at 160° C for 40 mintues or so, depending on size, take the lid off and bake for another 15 minutes until the lid and the top of the fondue are nicely browned. I like to cut the pumpkin into wedges and serve in bowls. Everything except the skin and stem is edible, and delicious, as this Creme Brulee sounds!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Recently got a brulee torch, and as a pumpkin lover this looks like the perfect recipe with which to inaugurate it! Now I just have to remember to get some butane....

    Approximately what diameter/circumference of mini pumpkins would you recommend?  They look to be only 2 or 3 inches across in the pictures where they're near enough to something for possible size comparison.

    Also, do the insides of the mini pumps get cooked to the point of edibility?

    Thanks for another great recipe, scooch!

    2 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah, mine were about 3" across. I didn't try eating the pumpkins themselves, but they were definitely cooked. Give it a try!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the additional info...and for the excellent justification for buying a whole bunch of cute little pumpkins!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Loosing 2# a week now.  I will be on a less strict diet next pumpkin season.
    Looking to try it then as a celebration for my upcoming 200 best answers :-)


    1 reply