I tried my first pumpkin spiced creme brulee a few years back at Canyon Creek and it completely blew my mind. At the time, I wasn’t a big fan of pumpkin pie, and that creme brulee delivered the flavour and spice of a pumpkin pie without the (what I found then) weird texture of the pie. I have since learned to love pumpkin pie, but that beautiful pumpkin spice creme brulee continues to have a very special place in my heart (or stomach?).
A few weeks before thanksgiving, my family got bit by the pie flu, and we made all kinds of pie: blueberry, cherry, pumpkin… By this thanksgiving, we were completed pied out. So for this thanksgiving, I decided to wrap up thanksgiving with my pumpkin creme brulee instead, which was a welcome change from the expected pumpkin pie. The maple sugar brought an extra Canadian-ness to this Canadian thanksgiving. The creme brulee is extremely easy to make, and can be prepared ahead of time. Here you have it, another Nommy Noms recipe!
Maple Pumpkin Creme Brulee
Yields: 8 Small Ramekins
- 2 C heavy cream
- 1/4 C maple sugar + (4 tsp for the brulee topping)
- 1/4 C sugar + (4 tsp for the brulee topping)
- 8 large egg yolks
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 cup mashed cooked pumpkin (can be substituted w/ canned pumpkin mash)
The Fun Part:
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Arrange 8 small ramekins or custard cups in a large metal baking pan.
- In a medium saucepan, add the cream, maple sugar, and 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Bring to a bare simmer over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until frothy and lemon-colored. Slowly add 3/4 cup of the hot cream mixture, whisking constantly. Add the egg mixture to the remaining hot cream, and whisk. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin, and whisk until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl. Divide among the prepared custard cups.
- Add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the cups. Bake until the custards are just set in the center but not stiff (45 mins to 55 mins).
- Remove from the oven and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Mix the 4 tsp of white & 4 tsp of maple sugar together. Sprinkle each custard with 1 tsp of mixed sugar. Using a kitchen torch, caramelize the sugar. (Alternately, preheat the broiler, and broil until the sugar melts and caramelizes, watching closely to avoid burning and rotating the cups, about 1 to 2 minutes.) Place on small dessert plates and serve. Enjoy!