Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Créme Brulée


I love pumpkin season and it seems to be a theme now on my blog. From Pumpkin Stew to Pumpkin Creme Brulee. The Pumpkin Brulee is custardy and reminiscent of pumpkin pie filling, rich on the vanilla bean side. I finished the pumpkin custard with the torched sugar layer, which makes a nice accompanying crunch to the smooth lightly textured creme.

What are you doing with your pumpkins this October?

Pumpkin Creme Brulee
Time: 1 hr plus cooling Serves: 8
Cook's Note: This dessert is a gluten-free option. Just make sure you always still check ingredients. If you use vanilla extract, make sure it is labeled gluten-free, certain alcohols contain gluten.
Adapted from Food Network's Guy Fieri
Gluten-Free Option

3 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 vanilla bean, cut lengthwise to expose seeds
8 egg yolks
1 cup sugar, plus 4-8 tbsp for sugar top
1/2 cup whole milk
2 cups canned pumpkin puree

How To:
1) Preheat the oven to 300º F. In a medium sauce pan, over medium heat, add 2 cups of the cream, spices, and vanilla bean. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.

2) In a medium bowl, whisk the yolks with the sugar until the mixture is pale yellow and the sugar is dissolved.

3) Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of cream and the 1/2 cup of milk to the cream and spice mixture. Slowly incorporate the yolk and sugar mixture. Strain the liquid through a sieve, reserving all liquid in a medium to large bowl. Whisk in pumpkin puree. With the removed vanilla bean, scrape all seeds into the mixture using a knife (as shown above). Whisk to incorporate.

4) Boil water in a tea kettle. Divide the pumpkin mixture evenly into the custard dishes. Add the boiling water into the baking dish that is holding the custard dishes. Fill to half way up the sides of the dishes, and be careful not to let the water into the custard.

5) Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the custard is mostly set. Remove the brulee from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate Pumpkin Brulee for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.

To Serve:
Sprinkle each custard with about a tbsp of sugar. With a kitchen butane torch, melt and slightly brown the sugar. Repeat two more times with sugar and torch to create a more crunchy layer.

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