Maybe you don't want to make an entire pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, or maybe you're craving the more creamy creme brulee with a delicious flavor of gingerbread. Whatever the reason - this pumpkin creme brulee is easy to whip up, it can be made in advance and makes for a stress free Thanksgiving celebration!
I made this a small batch because I know a lot of people have smaller Thanksgiving celebrations. Maybe it's just you, or you and your hubby, and an entire pie might be a little much (hah - not for me, but that's another case). I'm all about making delicious food even though I'm short on people.
If you are just two to four people, I can highly recommend you to check out these two posts:
- Thanksgiving for two (with lots of room for leftovers), including planners for grocery shopping, oven schedule and lots of delicious recipes.
- 7 Thanksgiving leftover recipes using 100% of the leftovers I had from the Thanksgiving for two (including some leftover pumpkin bolognese).
I serve this pumpkin creme brulee as a dessert on Thanksgiving, because it is so easy make ahead and ready in a jiff once the craving hits!
You get the flavor of a pumpkin pie and it's warm spices - combined with a creamy, milky creme brulee and that amazing crunchy topping. And I love that it's make ahead! That makes any get together or romantic dinner less stressful and more yummy. Why not whip it up on Sunday, and then you can have dessert on a Monday? YES.
Begin with pre-heating your oven to 150C (300F). Make sure your pumpkin puree is extra fine, blend it if not. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and 50 gr brown sugar until well blended.
Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan, while stirring, make sure it just heats through and not boils. Remove from heat and let cool a little. Slowly add the warm cream into the sugar and eggs. This way the heavy cream won’t heat up the eggs too much and make scrambled eggs. Strain this mixture.
Whisk in the pumpkin puree, salt and spices. Divide the mixture into 4 ramekins (I poured 125 ml/1/2 cup into mine), and place in a large baking dish. Fill the baking dish with warm water about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. This ensures even baking.
Bake for around 35-40 minutes. They should wiggle a little in the middle once done because they firm up considerably in the fridge (photo above shows it chilled). Cool to room temperature. Then cover and refrigerate, at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. They can be in the fridge for days like this, so it's great for a make ahead dinner.
This pumpkin creme brulee is a little firmer than the normal creme brulee because of the pumpkin. I don't think it matters, it was delicious nonetheless. I suggest baking it for a little less time if you really want a more smooth and light consistency.
Make the crackling crust topping
Pour ½ tablespoon sugar into each ramekin, jiggle and turn it until it’s evenly coated. Using a torch, torch the tops using a circular motion and turn the ramekins. The tip of the flame is all that needs to touch the sugar. It will start to bubble and caramelize. A few burned pieces are fine, that’s what a creme brulee should look like! Cool 1 minute before serving to let the sugar set and crisp up.
I would recommend getting a torch, it's fun and it's easy. You can use it for a lot of different desserts (like this red currant lemon curd brulee tart), garnishes and what not. It's pretty inexpensive, I just bought this one, and I really like it. Yes, this is an affiliate link, but I honestly love it.
However, if you don't have one, and don't want to get one, you could use your broiler setting on the oven. Place the rack in the top position in your oven, place the pumpkin creme brulee ramekins on the rack, and then turn on the oven. Broil for 5-10 minutes (watch all the time!) and turn them around a little to ensure even broiling. This way the pumpkin creme brulee will have a little lukewarm center, but that's okay too!
- Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies
- Easy Blender Pumpkin Spice Latte
- Pumpkin Sage Brown Butter Soup
- Healthy Spiced Pumpkin Soufflé
- Moroccan Butternut and Chevre Soup
- Pumpkin Gnocchi with Brown Butter Cream Sauce
- Pumpkin Banana Muffins
If you have any questions or feedback, I listen. Either in the comment section below, or tag me @thegingerwithspice on Instagram. And don't forget to Pin it for later!
In order to keep the blog up and running this post contains affiliate links, it will be at no extra cost to you, please read the disclosure for more information.