This delicious Pumpkin Creme Brûlée is a unique twist on the classic dessert, infusing the creamy custard with the rich flavors of pumpkin and autumn spices. It's a perfect make-ahead dessert for your holiday table, offering a sophisticated yet comforting end to your meal.
The beauty of this pumpkin creme brulee recipe lies in its simplicity and the classic blend of flavors. The pumpkin puree adds a lovely texture and flavor, making this dessert stand out from the usual creme brulee. The sugar crust, caramelized with a kitchen torch, adds a delightful crunch, contrasting beautifully with the smooth custard.
This fall brulee recipe is a testament to the magic that happens when you combine classic dessert techniques with the warm, comforting flavors of fall. And if you love pumpkin desserts, you need to try my vegan pumpkin pie and vegan pumpkin cookies along with this creme brulee.
Read on to learn exactly how to make this delicious pumpkin creme brulee recipe today!
- What is Pumpkin Creme Brûlée?
- Why This Is The Best Pumpkin Creme Brulee Recipe
- What You Need to Make Pumpkin Creme Brulee
- How to Make Pumpkin Creme Brulee (Step-by-Step)
- Tips For Making the Best Pumpkin Creme Brûlée
- Serving Suggestions
- Recipe Variation Ideas
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How to Store Leftover Pumpkin Creme Brulee
- Similar Recipes
What is Pumpkin Creme Brûlée?
Pumpkin Creme Brulee is a unique twist on the classic dessert recipe of creme brulee. It tastes incredible and is the perfect fall dessert.
It involves the delicious combination of creamy custard infused with pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and a medley of spices, all topped off with a crisp sugar crust. This dessert is baked in a ramekin, giving it a charming and individualized presentation.
It’s an absolutely wonderful dessert to make at home, especially during the fall season. Its rich pumpkin flavor, paired with the creamy custard and crispy sugar crust, makes it a heavenly treat that tantalizes the taste buds.
Not only does it look impressive, but this dessert also fills your home with an enticing aroma while it bakes, making it a joy to prepare and serve.
Why This Is The Best Pumpkin Creme Brulee Recipe
Easy to make: This pumpkin creme brulee recipe is simple to follow. With just a few basic ingredients like egg yolks, pumpkin puree, and brown sugar, you'll have a delicious dessert ready in no time.
Family favorite: Combining the comforting flavor of pumpkin spice with the creaminess of custard, this dessert is sure to be a hit with the whole family. The addition of nutmeg, ginger, and cloves gives it a warm, inviting flavor that's perfect for the holiday season.
Versatile: This recipe is versatile and allows for customization. You can adjust the levels of pumpkin pie spice mix, brown sugar, or even add whipped cream on top to suit your family's preferences.
Delicious: The creamy custard, combined with the pumpkin puree and a crunchy sugar crust, creates a rich, flavorful dessert that's hard to resist.
What You Need to Make Pumpkin Creme Brulee
All you need are some incredibly simple, pantry-staple ingredients to make this delicious pumpkin creme brulee recipe at home.
Here's an overview of the specific ingredients for this recipe. For the exact ingredients and measurements, please scroll to the recipe card below.
Heavy Cream: This is the main ingredient of the custard mixture that gives the dessert its rich and creamy texture.
Egg Yolks: These add a luxurious richness to the custard and help to thicken it.
Pumpkin Puree: This gives our creme brûlée a seasonal twist, adding a delicious pumpkin flavor and a beautiful orange color.
Brown Sugar: This sweetens the custard and compliments the pumpkin flavor perfectly. It also helps to create a nice caramelized sugar crust on top.
Ground Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, and Cardamom: These spices are the heart of the pumpkin pie spice mix, giving the custard its warm, fall-inspired flavor.
Vanilla Extract: This adds a hint of sweetness and depth to the overall flavor of the dessert.
Cane Sugar: This is used to create the classic brulée (burnt) topping. It caramelizes under the broiler or kitchen torch to form a deliciously sweet, crisp sugar crust.
How to Make Pumpkin Creme Brulee (Step-by-Step)
Making this incredible pumpkin creme brulee recipe at home is super easy and will give you great results every single time. Here's how to make it step by step:
- Preheat the Oven: Start by setting your oven to preheat at a temperature of about 325 degrees F.
- Heat the Cream: Next, pour the heavy whipping cream into a saucepan and heat it over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Be sure not to let it boil. This should take approximately five minutes. Once it is simmering, remove the saucepan from the heat.
- Combine Ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, and vanilla extract until the mixture is well combined.
- Gradually whisk in the heated cream until the mixture is smooth.
- Fill Ramekins: Place your empty ramekins in a large baking dish and evenly distribute the mixture among them.
- Add Hot Water: Fill the baking dish with boiling water until there’s enough water that it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Carefully transfer the dish into the preheated oven.
- Bake: Allow the creme brûlée to bake for about fifty minutes. You'll know it is done when it is set but still slightly wobbly in the center.
- Cool and Refrigerate: After removing the creme brulee from the oven and the water-filled baking dish, let it cool and then refrigerate for at least two hours.
- Create Sugar Crust: When you're ready to serve, sprinkle a tablespoon of cane sugar on top of each creme brulee. Using a kitchen torch, melt the sugar to create a delicious brown sugar crust. Enjoy your homemade pumpkin creme brulee!
Tips For Making the Best Pumpkin Creme Brûlée
Use Fresh Ingredients: For the best flavor, use fresh ingredients. Fresh pumpkin puree and freshly ground spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cardamom can make a significant difference in your pumpkin creme brulee.
Slowly Whisk in the Heavy Cream: To guarantee a smooth custard, slowly whisk in the hot heavy cream into the egg yolk mixture. This technique, called tempering, prevents the egg yolks from cooking and curdling.
Safely Transfer the Baking Dish: When transferring the baking dish filled with boiling water and ramekins into the oven, be careful to avoid spills. A spill can cause the water to seep into the ramekins and ruin your dessert.
Watch the Baking Time: Keep a close eye on the custard as it bakes. It should be set but still slightly wobbly in the center. Overbaking can lead to a grainy texture.
Chill the Creme Brulee: Make sure to refrigerate the creme brulee for at least two hours before serving. This step is crucial as it allows the custard to set properly.
Use a Culinary Torch: For the perfect sugar crust, use a culinary torch. Sprinkle cane sugar evenly on top of the custard and torch it until it caramelizes. If you don't have a torch, you can also use the broiler in your oven. Just keep a close eye to prevent burning.
- For a delightful start to your day, enjoy your pumpkin creme brulee as a gourmet breakfast, alongside a steaming cup of coffee. The robust coffee flavor beautifully contrasts with the sweet and creamy dessert.
- Want a unique dessert option? Try serving your pumpkin creme brulee with a dollop of whipped cream on top. The light, airy cream lends a fantastic texture contrast to the crisp sugar crust and creamy custard beneath.
- For a cozy evening treat, pair this pumpkin creme brulee with a glass of dessert wine. The wine's sweetness and acidity complement the creamy, spiced flavors of the creme brulee.
- If you're hosting a dinner party, pumpkin creme brulee can be a stunning dessert course. The individual ramekins make it easy to serve, and the festive pumpkin flavor is sure to impress your guests.
- Pumpkin creme brulee also pairs well with a variety of autumnal fruits. Try serving it with a side of baked apples or poached pears for a dessert that truly celebrates the flavors of the season.
- For a fun twist, serve your pumpkin creme brulee slightly warm with a side of vanilla ice cream. The contrast of warm and cold, creamy and crispy, will take this dessert to the next level.
Recipe Variation Ideas
This delicious pumpkin creme brûlée recipe is so flavorful and easy to make you'll want to try out some of these delicious variations! Here are some great ideas:
Try it with a twist of citrus: If you love a hint of tangy flavor, this variation is for you. Add the zest of one lemon to the pumpkin mixture before baking. The citrus notes will cut through the richness of the custard, adding a refreshing twist to the dessert.
Add a touch of maple: For a taste of autumn, add a tablespoon of pure maple syrup into the pumpkin and egg yolk mixture. The maple syrup will enhance the pumpkin flavor and add a subtle sweetness to the dessert.
Spice it up with pumpkin pie spice: If you're a fan of pumpkin pie, this variation is for you. Replace the individual spices with a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice for that classic pumpkin pie flavor. You can also sprinkle some on the sugar crust before torching it for an extra spicy kick.
Try it with a coconut twist: For a tropical twist, substitute the heavy cream with coconut cream. The coconut flavor pairs beautifully with the pumpkin and spices, giving your dessert a unique and delicious flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions
For this pumpkin creme brulee recipe, it is best to use heavy cream. It gives the custard a rich, creamy flavor and consistency that's just perfect for this dessert.
Yes, you can use fresh pumpkin. However, it will take additional prep time as you'll need to roast and puree the pumpkin first. The canned pumpkin puree is a convenient and time-saving option.
Baking the creme brulee in a water bath, or a roasting pan filled with hot water, guarantees even and slow cooking. This prevents the custard from curdling or cracking and helps achieve a smooth texture.
The creme brulee is done when it is set but still slightly wobbly in the center. This usually takes about fifty minutes in the oven at a temperature of three hundred twenty-five degrees Fahrenheit.
If you don't have a kitchen torch, you can use the broiler in your oven to create the sugar crust. Just be careful not to burn the sugar, and watch it closely as it browns.
Absolutely! In fact, it is recommended to make this pumpkin creme brulee ahead of time as it needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving making it perfect for the holidays!
How to Store Leftover Pumpkin Creme Brulee
Storing leftover pumpkin creme brulee in the fridge is quite simple. First, let the dessert cool down to room temperature, and make sure to remove the sugar crust if you've already bruléed the top. Then, tightly cover each ramekin with plastic wrap. These can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.
When you're ready to enjoy your refrigerated pumpkin creme brulee, take it out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about half an hour.
After that, sprinkle a thin layer of sugar over the top of each ramekin. Use your kitchen torch to create a new sugar crust, or place the ramekins under a broiler for a couple of minutes. Keep a close eye on them to avoid burning!
Unfortunately, freezing is not recommended for pumpkin creme brûlée. The custard mixture contains heavy cream and egg yolks, which tend to separate when frozen and then thawed, leading to a less-than-ideal texture.
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Pumpkin Creme Brûlée (Perfect Holiday Make-Ahead Dessert!)
- Preheat the oven to 325 F.
- Add heavy cream to a medium pot and heat until it starts to simmer but not boiling, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- In a large heat-proof bowl, whisk egg yolks, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom and vanilla extract until combined. Slowly whisk in the heavy cream until the mixture is smooth.
- Place empty ramekins in a large rectangular baking dish and distribute the mixture evenly among the ramekins.
- Fill the baking dish with the boiling water halfway up the ramekins and carefully transfer it into the oven.
- Bake Creme Brulee for 50 minutes until it is set but slightly wobbly in the center.
- Carefully remove Creme Brulee from the oven and from the baking pan (I always use a thin spatula to lift the ramekins from the water-filled pan) and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- When ready to serve, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cane sugar on top of Creme Brûlée and, using a culinary blowtorch, melt the sugar to create a brown crust. Enjoy!