This Pumpkin Pie Crème Brûlée is a perfect dessert for a Halloween dinner party! It tastes amazing, and has all the delicious flavors of pumpkin pie in pudding form! I made this for our ‘Better Late Than Never’ Halloween dinner party!
Pumpkin Pie Crème Brûlée
I had seen an episode of Guy’s Big Bite where the host, Guy Fieri, cooked Pumpkin Pie Crème Brûlée. I thought it was something different; not just to try out but also to make, as I have never made crème brûlée before. I couldn’t think of a spooky name for this, yet my sister, on the night, said I should have called it crème boo-lée…hindsight is fabulous!
I had to change a couple of ingredients – the first being the turbinado sugar, which I’ve never heard of, or seen for sale here in the UK. After a quick Google, I found that demerara sugar was a good substitute. I also didn’t like the thought of using salty Ritz crackers (the only kind I know of) in the base, so used digestive biscuits instead which I would normally use when making a cheesecake – you could use Graham Crackers. Heavy cream is called double cream in the UK and whilst I had bought cans of pumpkin out in the USA this summer, I’m sure you could steam some pumpkin flesh and whizz up to make a purée.
You need to allow time for the crème brûléee to set – suggested 6 hours in the recipe or overnight, which is what I did.
This recipe serves 8, and the ingredients include: cream, butter crackers (whatever they are! See above!) ground spices, a vanilla bean, egg yolks, 3 kinds of sugar, whole milk, canned pumpkin purée, pecans, and butter.
I gathered all my ingredients for the base and the filling. I also set my oven to 150C (which is 300F)
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The recipe online is back to front – giving you the method for making the custard first and then the base. I made the base first. You can use a food processor to do this job, or you could put the biscuits/crackers and nuts in a food bag and crush with a rolling pin or mallet.
I actually use my smoothie maker and it did a grand job of crushing up the biscuits and nuts, even though I had to do it in several batches. As I was crushing them up I thought 32 might be too many (I was right) I used about 20 or so. To be fair, that was also too many – but I had enough left over of both the biscuit base and the filling to make a couple more!
I dumped the crumbly mixture into a bowl and melted the butter in a pan on the stove.
I then poured the now liquid butter into the biscuit and pecan crumbles and stirred together to combine them – I think I could have done with a bit more butter which isn’t the recipes fault since I switched the cracker suggestion in it. That’s what I love about cooking – experimentation!
Once combined, I pressed the mixture into the bottom of some ramekins. The recipe calls for 8, 6oz custard cups. I don’t think mine were quite as big as I had lots of both the base and the custard left over! In the TV show, Guy also presses the mixture up the sides of the cups which I couldn’t manage to do. It’s no big deal since you don’t turn them out.
I set the ramekins aside to move onto the next step…making the custard.
I poured 2 cups of double cream into a sauce pan and added the cinnamon, ginger and freshly grated nutmeg. I also split the vanilla pod lengthways and scraped out the seeds which were put into the pot of cream along with the pod itself. I slowly brought the cream to a boil and then removed from the heat to cool.
I put white and dark brown sugar in a bowl and added the egg yolks. You could save the whites for making meringues; they can also be frozen for use on another day.
Then, taking the electric whisk to the eggs and sugars I gave them a good beating until the mixture was pale yellow and the sugar was dissolved.
To the now semi-cooled cream and spices I added the remaining cream (1½ cups) and ½ cup milk. Then slowly whisked the spiced cream mixture into the sugar and egg yolk mixture – you don’t want to end up with scrambled eggs, so make sure the cream is cooled!
I then removed the vanilla pod and whisked in the pumpkin puree.
Once everything was combined I then used a ladle to divide the mixture between the 8 biscuit lined ramekins. Next time I would put the mixture into a jug and pour it from that – so much easier! The custard smelled wonderful and I was hoping that the pumpkin pie crème brûlée would taste as nice as they appeared to be looking!
I had already placed the ramekins into a deep roasting pan, and then poured boiling water from the kettle around them, about half way up the sides. They call this a bain-marie, which means water bath. This method of cooking helps the custard to cook with an even temperature.
Carefully I placed the pan into the oven, shut the door and set the timer. The recipe says 35 – 45 minutes – I always check at the lowest time first as you can always leave a dish for a bit longer, but let it go too far and it could be ruined.
My crème brûlée were ready after 35 minutes, once I removed the roasting pan from the oven, I also removed the ramekins so that they wouldn’t overcook. I set them all to one side to cool for 30 minutes before putting in the fridge for the next day when I would caramelise some demerara sugar on the top of them.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of me burning sugar with a culinary blow torch, but I do have a photo of the finished pumpkin pie crème brûlée! It was absolutely delicious and got a big thumbs up from everyone that night. The caramelised sugar was crunchy and complimented the sweet creamy custard filling and the biscuit and pecan base. It was an awesome dessert and turned out so well. I would definitely make this again!
- 32 butter crackers (I used 20 digestive biscuits, you could use graham crackers)
- ½ cup pecans
- 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 3½ cups heavy (double) cream,divided
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp freshly grate nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2½ Tbsp dark brown sugar
- 8 egg yolks
- ½ cup whole milk
- 2 cups canned pumpkin purée
- boiling water for bain-marie
- ¼ cup turbinado or demerara sugar
- Crush the crackers/biscuits and pecans in a food processor. Add the melted butter, stir to combine.
- Divide this mixture between 8 (6oz) custard cups/ramekins, and press to form a base.
- Pour 2 cups of cream into a sauce pan and add cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
- Split the vanilla pod lengthways, and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds and the pod to the cream pan.
- Bring the cream slowly to a boil on the stove top, then remove pan and leave to cool at room temperature. Remove vanilla pod when cooled.
- Add the white, and dark brown sugars and egg yolks to a bowl, and beat with an electric mixer until the sugar is dissolved.
- To the cooled cream and spices, add the other 1½ cups of cream and the milk. The carefully and slowly whisk in the sugar and egg mixture - you do not want to create scrambled eggs!
- Whisk in the pumpkin purée.
- Place the prepared ramekins into a deep roasting tray, and divide the custard between them. Fill to just below the top.
- Pour boiling water into the roasting pan, about half way up the sides of the ramekins. This is called a bain-marie
- Place the pan into an oven set at 150C/300F/Gas 2 for 35-45 minutes until set. They should be firm to the touch, and have a slight jiggle - but not too much!
- Remove the ramekins from the bain-marie and leave to cool for 30 minutes, before placing in the refrigerator to cool completely.
- When ready to serve, brûlée the tops of the dessert by sprinkling with turbinado or demerara sugar, and using a culinary blow torch to melt the sugar until dark and almost burnt. (Crème brûlée, means burnt cream!)
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 615 Total Fat: 30g Saturated Fat: 12g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 16g Cholesterol: 209mg Sodium: 261mg Carbohydrates: 81g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 57g Protein: 8g