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Pumpkin Crème Brulee

Creamy pumpkin custard is accentuated by pumpkin pie spice and vanilla bean and topped with crackling bruleed sugar in this Pumpkin Creme Brulee. This dessert makes an elegant ending to any holiday dinner party!

Pumpkin creme brulee in white ramekins, next to a spoon and a pumpkin

I don’t know what the weather is like where you live right now, but the weather here in Ohio is all kinds of whacky.

Part of me is all Yes! It’s going to be 85 today, we can take Elle swimming and eat dinner on the patio.

The other part of me is all HELLO! It’s mid-September and I just want to sip a pumpkin spice latte and wear my new sweatshirt without being drenched in sweat by 2pm.

It’s been in high 50’s to low 60’s every morning and then BAM! By 2:00 we’re talking temps in the 80s and 90s. So dressing a 5-year-old for a 30 degree temp swing has been all sorts of fun!

And if I’m being honest, I’m kind of over it.

My porch is decorated for fall complete with cute pillows and coordinating mums and the fall storage totes have been brought up from the basement, but I haven’t quite put everything up yet because my brain still says it’s summer.

One thing that is totally not summer over here is my baking. From pumpkin chocolate chip bread and apple pie bars to caramel apple crisp and this pumpkin creme brulee, I’m in full-on fall baking mode.

Close up of a spoon breaking into the crackly sugar topping on a pumpkin creme brulee

CREME BRULEE IS EASIER THAN YOU THINK

So here’s the thing about making creme brulee: It’ll impress the socks off of just about anyone you serve it to.

I mean, it looks so fancy in its individual servings and with its crackly bruleed sugar topping. Not to mention the flavor and the luscious texture of the custard.

But as far as custards go, creme brulee is actually a pretty easy custard to make.

Since it’s a baked custard, you don’t have to worry about cooking it through or thickening it up on the stove, as if you were making Rolo Ice Cream or homemade vanilla pudding.

Custard for pumpkin creme brulee poured into ramekins, ready to be baked

Instead, the custard gets mixed and then baked in ramekins in a water bath.

We already know how to bake cheesecake in a water bath. This is even easier – just make sure to place the pan with the ramekins in the oven before adding the water. Otherwise you risk sloshing water into your custards.

Ask me how I know.

Pumpkin creme brulee custards sprinkled with sugar, ready to be bruleed

Once the custards bake and cool, all that’s left to do is brulee them! You can do this with a brulee torch or under your broiler.

If you go the broiler route, just make sure to keep a close eye on them; they can burn quickly!

Pumpkin creme brulee custards sprinkled with sugar, ready to be bruleed

MAKE IT A FANCY HOLIDAY WITH PUMPKIN CREME BRULEE

Since creme brulee is actually pretty easy to make, why not add some pumpkin to it for the fall and holiday season?
I’m telling ya, this Pumpkin Creme Brulee recipe will be your best friend for any holiday dinner party.

We’ve already covered why this recipe is deceptively impressive. But it’s perfect for entertaining.

Pumpkin creme brulee, ready to be served in individual ramekins

The custards need plenty of time to cool before they can be bruleed and served, so you can easily make them a day ahead of time. Plus, the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice add a depth of flavor that is key for any fall dessert.

Bite taken out of a pumpkin creme brulee, showing the pumpkin custard underneath the bruleed sugar topping

Whether you’re hosting a small Thanksgiving or a fall dinner party for friends, Pumpkin Creme Brulee is a recipe you’ll want to keep handy this fall. After all, who doesn’t want to feel fancy every now and again?

Spoon breaking into the bruleed sugar topping on a pumpkin creme brulee

Bite taken out of a pumpkin creme brulee, showing the pumpkin custard underneath the bruleed sugar topping

Pumpkin Crème Brulee

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes

Creamy pumpkin custard is accentuated by pumpkin pie spice and vanilla bean and topped with crackling bruleed sugar in this Pumpkin Creme Brulee. This dessert makes an elegant ending to any holiday dinner party!

Ingredients

  • 1 whole vanilla bean
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar for bruleed topping

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

2. Slice the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the caviar from inside the bean; reserve the bean.

3. In a medium saucepan, heat the cream, vanilla bean and scraped caviar, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves over medium heat, stirring occasionally, just until it comes to a boil. Immediately turn off the heat and set aside to infuse at least 15 minutes. Remove bean from cream mixture.

4. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Whisking constantly, gradually pour in the hot cream mixture. Whisk in the pumpkin puree. Pour the mixture into 4 ovenproof ramekins and arrange in a hot water bath.

5. Bake in the center of the oven until almost set but still a bit soft in the center, 40-50 minutes. The custard should "shimmy" a bit when you shake the pan; it will firm up more as it cools. Remove from the water bath and let cool 15 minutes.

6. Tightly cover each ramekin with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic does not touch the surface of the custard. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, and up to 24 hours.

7. When ready to serve, preheat a broiler to very hot (or fire up your kitchen torch). Uncover the chilled custards. Pour as much coarse sugar as will fit onto the top of 1 of the custards. Pour off the remaining sugar onto the next custard. Repeat until all the custards are coated. Discard any remaining sugar. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan and broil until the sugar is melted and well browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool 1 minute before serving.

Notes

adapted from Gale Gand

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Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1 creme brulee
Amount Per Serving Calories 544Total Fat 38gSaturated Fat 23gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 288mgSodium 47mgCarbohydrates 48gFiber 0gSugar 46gProtein 6g

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me on social! I want to see what you made! @jamiemba

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Sandy Clabaugh

Tuesday 17th of September 2019

Can this be made with almond or soy milk rather than cow's milk?

Jamie

Sunday 6th of October 2019

Hello! I haven't attempted this recipe with this substitution, so I am not sure of the result. If you happen to give it a try, I'd love to know how it turned out. Thanks so much for stopping by. -Jamie

Natalie

Tuesday 17th of September 2019

I love pumpkin desserts! This creme brulee looks and sounds delicious and perfect for the season ♥

Jamie

Sunday 6th of October 2019

Thanks so much for stopping by, Natalie! I appreciate you taking the time to comment. Happy Baking! -Jamie

Jennifer

Monday 16th of September 2019

I don't have a vanilla bean but have vanilla bean paste. How much of that do you think I should use instead of the caviar of the vanilla bean? We are having guests over to share dinner with us this weekend and I think this would be the perfect end. Thank you for posting it!

Jamie

Sunday 6th of October 2019

Hello! You might want to check to see if the manufacturer of the vanilla bean paste you have notes substitution amounts, but usually 1 tablespoon of paste can replace one vanilla bean. Hope this helps! Jamie

Rob

Tuesday 22nd of November 2016

My pumpkin settled in the ramekins, is this normal?   Still it was very nice.

Jamie

Tuesday 22nd of November 2016

I'm glad you enjoyed it, Rob! I don't think a little settling is out of the ordinary. Let me know if I can help with anything else!

Carolyn

Saturday 1st of November 2014

Made this today; it was sooooooo good.

Jamie

Tuesday 4th of November 2014

Carolyn- I'm so glad the recipe worked for you. Thanks for visiting.

-Jamie

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