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Salted Pumpkin Creme Brulee

This recipe came from my favorite website Food52.  It is incredibly delicious but does require some sort of torch or lighter - the original recipe says you can do it under the broiler but I did not have success trying that (in fact I almost burnt a hole in my oven mitt).  But who wouldn't want a kitchen torch to make marshmallows with at a moments notice?!  I think this would be even better if served with a spicy gingersnap type cookie to use almost like a spoon.

Salted Pumpkin Creme Brulee


8-12 servings


1 15oz can pumpkin puree

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

¾ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

½ tsp ground ginger

6 large egg yolks


1 tsp coarse sea salt

¼ cup granulated sugar, for topping


Heat oven to 325˚F and get ramekins ready – place 8 ramekins in large roasting pan (this recipe makes about 48 oz, so it’ll make 8 6-oz or 12 4-oz brûlées).

Place pumpkin puree into saucepan over medium heat and cook for about ten minutes.

While pumpkin is caramelizing, whisk together egg yolks and granulated sugar in large bowl.

Once pumpkin has caramelized, add cream, whole milk, vanilla, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger to the pumpkin. Whisk everything together until well integrated. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat and once you see those bubbles remove from heat.

Temper eggs, slowly whisk about ¼ cup of the hot pumpkin/cream mixture into the eggs, then add the remaining pumpkin/cream mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking continuously (to make this easier, I poured the hot pumpkin mixture into a heatproof bowl with a handle and pouring lip).

Divide mixture among ramekins or crème brûlée dishes. Cover the pan with foil, leaving one corner turned up and place in oven with rack pulled out.  Pour enough hot water to pans to come halfway up sides of ramekins and close the corner of foil.

Bake the custards about 30 minutes, then lift off a corner of the foil to allow the steam to escape. Re-cover the pan and bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until custards are just set in center.*

Chill custards until cold, about 4 to 6 hours.

DO AHEAD Can be made 2 to 3 days in advance. Cover and keep chilled.

Remove custards from fridge an hour before serving to come to room temp.

Right before serving, sprinkle a few grains of sea salt on top of each chilled custard then sprinkle 2 to 3 tsp of sugar in a thin, even layer. Use a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar.

* To test for doneness, gently tap one of the custards (with an oven mitt on!).  You want the custard to giggle almost in one piece – like a wave rather than a ripple from outside in.

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