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Megans Cookin: Thanksgiving Countdown: Pumpkin Creme Brulee

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thanksgiving Countdown: Pumpkin Creme Brulee

April, one of my BBF's (best blogging friends) and I decided to do a cookbook project together and bake through some cookbooks. You know, just for fun. For our first project, April choose Pumpkin Creme Brulee from Gail Gund's book Butter, Sugar, Flour, Eggs. It also went perfect with my Thanksgiving Countdown, my Thanksgiving dinner that I'm having in increments. Well, if you know me, you know that I'm game for anything pumpkin.
And, ... well, ... basically, ... anything creme brulee. This means my favorite flavor AND my favorite kitchen gadget. The Torch!

I made this recipe twice because I was not happy with my first results. A couple of things I learned were;

1. Don't use a Kitchen Aid with the whisk attachment. Don't bother. Use a simple whisk.

I whisked the hell out of my first batch. Not even thinking I'm working with eggs and cream here and incorporating a lot of air. I had that machine just whirling away which gave me a lot of air bubbles. So a full ramekin was not really full after it settled and baked, and left ugly rings in my half full ramekin. Which then burned. Not a pretty site. So just use a simple whisk.

2. Sparingly, sprinkle a little sugar on top. More is not better here folks. I poured way to much sugar on the top and it burned as we were trying to get the top caramelized evenly.
Less is more. Got it?

3. Scrape a vanilla bean and seep the pod and the seeds with the cream and spice. You just cant go wrong with a fresh vanilla bean. This was a little extra that I added!

4. Use fresh nutmeg! if you don't have a nut, go buy some at world Market. Their cheap and make a big difference.

This is an easy recipe (if you learn from my mistakes) and perfect for those holiday dinner party's. More eloquent then pudding, fancier then pie, this easy dessert will steal the show. But don't think it's just for the stuffy occasions. This dessert is every bit as good for those quite evenings at home.

Go check out April's Creme Brulee And then, when you go to the store, be sure to pick up some cream. Cause your gonna want to make this.

Next installment of our cookbook project will be picked by me. Stay tuned!

Pumpkin Creme brulee
By Gale Gund


1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
2 pinches nutmeg
1 pinch ginger
1 pinch ground cloves
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/3 cup coarse sugar or raw sugar
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

In a medium saucepan, heat the cream, 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.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the 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. Bake in the center of the oven until almost set but still a bit soft in the center, 30 to 40 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. 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.
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.


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Blogger nicisme said...

It's good to see that blowtorch coming out! Great creme brulee Megan.

November 12, 2008 at 2:26 AM  
Blogger Katherine Aucoin said...

Thanks for the tips and I have to try this variation of Creme Brulee. It looks wonderful.

November 12, 2008 at 5:19 AM  
Blogger April said...

I am so glad that you liked it! I would have never even thought about using the KA and whipping too much air in it. Thanks for that tip!! Can't wait to see what you pick!

November 12, 2008 at 5:26 AM  
Blogger Barbara Bakes said...

I've always want a torch! Your creme brulee looks yummy!

November 12, 2008 at 6:27 AM  
Blogger Carla said...

I want to make creme brulee, but I have no torch. I was told to use a broiler, but still not the same. Yours looks great!

November 12, 2008 at 7:45 AM  
Blogger brettinsky said...

I am so glad you both are doing this! However, you guys are definitely making me hungry!

November 12, 2008 at 8:18 AM  
Blogger Reeni said...

Looks great! Pumpkin, yum! Blowtorch, fun!

November 12, 2008 at 9:00 AM  
Blogger Laurie said...

Mmmmm, Creme Brulee!! I need to get me a torch!!

November 12, 2008 at 11:09 AM  
Blogger Ivy said...

1. I love world market and get a lot of my spices there. Good tip on the nutmeg too.
2. I have the exact same culinary torch as you.YAY!
3. Creme brulee is also my untimate favorite!

Your creation looks delicious!

November 12, 2008 at 2:54 PM  
Blogger Peabody said...

Sounds wonderful. It's always better when you can set it on fire. :)

November 13, 2008 at 1:16 AM  
Blogger Meg said...

Amazing! I love anything pumpkin! You did an awesome job!

November 13, 2008 at 7:52 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

This looks delicious! I'm curious to see what else you come up with!

November 13, 2008 at 8:56 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...

This looks fabulous! I own a torch and am not afraid to use it. I'm definitely going to try this one.

November 13, 2008 at 10:56 AM  
Blogger Deborah said...

I think I'll be asking for a torch for Christmas. Or maybe I'll just have to go get one for myself before then so I can make this!!

November 14, 2008 at 4:48 PM  
Blogger Proud Italian Cook said...

I want that cute little torch bad!!!

November 14, 2008 at 9:11 PM  

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