This past weekend my younger son went away with a bunch of his friends to a concert about 3 hours away. They stayed over night and then came back the next day. Needless to say I needed to do something to keep myself busy so I wasn’t constantly worrying about him driving on the highway for 3 hours to another city. Then came the driving in a different city and going to a concert at night. I definitely needed something to keep myself busy, so I baked! This is what I do when I’m stressed.
I asked my older son if I should make pumpkin pie or make something else pumpkin related. He opted for something else pumpkin related. So I figured I would whip up a bunch of Pumpkin Spice Creme Brûlée’s.
This first batch I made I ended up not baking them long enough, I could have swore they were done, but they were not. Definitely make sure you bake these long enough. My first batch went into the garbage and I ended up making a second batch (I really needed to keep my mind on something else).
To start, pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees F. Also, put a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil.
Also, in a small pot bring to a simmer the cream, milk and vanilla bean paste.
In your food processor (or a bowl with a whisk – I have a food processor so this goes a lot easier), combine the egg yolks, sugar, a pinch of salt, pumpkin purée and pumpkin pie spice. Blend for about a minute (scrape down the inside of the bowl to ensure everything is combined and smooth).
Once the cream/milk mixture comes to a simmer (small bubbles around the edge), remove from the heat and while the food processor is on, slowly pour in the hot cream mixture through the feed tube. (If using a bowl and whisk you may want to add the hot cream one ladle at a time).
Pour this through a mesh strainer to ensure there are no cooked egg bits, just in case. Then divide evenly between your custard dishes (mine are 4 ounces each) and place into a baking dish. Carefully pour you hot boiling water in the baking pans so it comes up half way on the custard dishes. Then place in your oven and bake for between 30 to 50 minutes (mine took 45 minutes). Remember to rotate the pans halfway through if you do not have a baking dish big enough to fit all of your custard dishes into one baking dish.
Whether you have a Brûlée torch or you are using your broiler in your oven, spread about 1 tsp. of sugar on top, spreading it out evenly and then “melt” the sugar and allow to cool so that it hardens.
Pumpkin Spice Creme Brûlée
(Makes 12 – 4 ounce cups)
2 cups pumpkin purée
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup milk
1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste
½ cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
10 large egg yolks
1 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Zest of an orange
Sugar, for brûlée
- Preheat oven to 325 F and place ramekins in a baking tray with a lip. Boil a pot of water.
- Heat whipping cream with vanilla bean paste until just below a simmer.
- In food processor, purée sugar, egg yolks, pumpkin pie spice with pumpkin purée.
- Pour hot cream into pumpkin mixture until all has been added. Pour custard into ramekins and fill baking pan with boiling water (resting pan on oven door is easiest).
- Bake for 30 to 50 minutes, (this really depends on your oven and where you live – I had to bake mine for 45 minutes) until custards are set, but jiggle just slightly in the centre. Remove custards from pan, cool for 30 minutes, then chill for at least 4 hours.
- To brulée custards with sugar, sprinkle onto custards, and caramelize with a butane torch (available at kitchen supply stores). Chill for up to 2 hours or serve immediately.