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Pumpkin Crème Brûlée: three ways


Pumpkin Crème Brûlée three ways: "inside, outside, and upside down".

• Inside = traditional crème brûlée, served in a ramekin with the crackly top.
• Outside = crème brûlée baked in a parchment-lined ramekin and inverted onto a wafer or cookie and served outside the ramekin
• Upside down = traditional crème caramel inverted onto a serving platter

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Pumpkin Crème Brûlée: three ways 1 Picture


  • Custard:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin purée
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Caramel:
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Crème brûlée top:
  • 4 tablespoons sugar


Servings 6
Adapted from


Step 1

To make the caramel: Bring the sugar, water and lemon juice to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until the syrup turns a light caramel color. Pour the caramel into ramekins, and tilt so that it covers the bottoms and sides. Let cool.

Note: If you want to serve the caramel separately as hard and brittle, pour it onto wax paper or a silicone-lined baking sheet and let cool. It will harden. Break apart like you would for peanut brittle. Serve alongside the custard.

To get ready: Preheat the oven to 300˚F.

To make the custard: In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream, milk and vanilla to a boil. Meanwhile, in a heatproof bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolks and sugar until blended. Stir in the pumpkin purée, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisking constantly, pour the hot milk into the egg mixture; let rest for a few minutes, then strain. Pour the custard into the caramel-lined ramekins.

Place the ramekins in a baking dish. Add boiling water to come about two-thirds up the sides of the ramekin. Transfer the pan to the oven. Bake until a knife inserted into the center of the custard comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Let cool. Chill for 2-3 hours.

To serve as crème brûlée: Sprinkle sugar evenly over top of cooked, cooled custards. Using a torch, move the flame continuously over the surface of the ramekins until the sugar melts and becomes golden brown and bubbly.

To serve as crème caramel: Run the tip of a knife around the edge of the custard to loosen it. Invert a serving platter over the ramekin and quickly turn it over again. Carefully remove the ramekin.

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