Pumpkin Creme Brulee {Baking And Desserts}

Ah, Halloween. The memories.  Harrison remembers trick or treating as a T-Rex, a Ninja Turtle, a dog, whatever his little heart desired.  Me, I was a hobo, a hobo, a hobo… now that I think about it my parents really liked dressing me up like a little homeless man. 

Then, there was that one Halloween where I forgot to buy candy and the trick or treaters actually beat their tiny fists on my door yelling “we know you’re in there!”. Frightening.  Oh and the many times Harrison answered the door with a “What up” to the six-foot tall “kids” holding pillow cases in their white t-shirts.

You know.  We really haven’t had the best luck with Halloween.  So this year, we decided to hole up and make our own treats instead. Porch lights off.

So in the spirit of the best part of Halloween, pumpkins, we’re letting loose on some pumpkin creme brulees to say Happy Halloween.


  • (1) quart of organic heavy cream
  • (3/4) cup of coarse or raw sugar  +  2 teaspoons of additional sugar to finish for each creme brulee
  • (2) whole vanilla beans, halved with pulp extracted
  • (1) cup of organic pumpkin puree
  • (8) free range organic egg yolks
  • (1) teaspoon of loosely packed ground cinnamon
  • (3/4) teaspoon of ground nutmeg

1.    Never worked with vanilla bean before?  Here’s a crash course in prep…

Pumpkin Creme Brulee Recipe Ingredients Vermont Baking

Split each bean with your knife down the center.

Pumpkin Creme Brulee Recipe Ingredients Vermont Baking

Then use your knife to scrape out the pulp.

2. Combine your heavy cream, vanilla (bean casing and pulp) and pumpkin in a double bottom sauce pot.  Using a double bottom sauce pot helps conduct heat better.

Pumpkin Creme Brulee Recipe Ingredients Vermont Baking

Add both the vanilla bean casing and the pulp for real hints of vanilla.

3. Add your cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to a rolling simmer.

4.  Meanwhile, combine your egg yolks and (3/4 cup) sugar in a large bowl and whisk thoroughly.  Make sure you select a bowl that leaves room to add your cream mixture once ready.

5.  Back over at the stove… once your cream comes to a simmer, pour it into your egg  yolk mixture in your large bowl to create your custard.

Pumpkin Creme Brulee Recipe Ingredients Vermont Baking

Pour from the stove to your large bowl.

6.  Next pull out a large (sweet tea) pitcher and a small mesh strainer.  Set your strainer overtop your pitcher and strain your custard mixture into your pitcher. Discard your vanilla beans.

Pumpkin Creme Brulee Recipe Ingredients Vermont Baking

Your vanilla bean casings are reserved. We like to gently press ours in the strainer to get every last bit of flavor in our custard

7.  Arrange your ramekins in a large cake or roasting pan.  Pour enough hot water into your pan to reach halfway up the side of your ramekins to create a water bath (approx. 1 inch of water)

Pumpkin Creme Brulee Recipe Ingredients Vermont Baking

Baking the custards in a water bath keeps the air in the oven moist, and prevents the crème brûlées from cracking.

8.  Place your pan in your oven and bake at 325 degrees and bake until the creme brulees are set in the center but not stiff (approx. 35 – 45 minutes).  The custard should “shimmy” a bit when you shake the pan.  It will firm up more as it cools.

Pumpkin Creme Brulee Recipe Ingredients Vermont Baking

Ready to set.

9.  Once you remove from the oven, remove your ramekins from the water bath and let cool for approx. 15 minutes and then refrigerate uncovered until you’re ready to serve.

10.  Pull out of the fridge approx. 15 – 20 minutes before you’re ready to serve.  Then, you need to pull out your ultra-cool torch for some serious carmelizing.  Sprinkle (1) teaspoon of your reserved sugar overtop your custard and gently shake to evenly distribute.

Pumpkin Creme Brulee Recipe Ingredients Vermont Baking

Shake it to cover the entire top of your custard.

11. Pull the trigger and toast that sugar until it’s a pretty caramel color.  We like to then add another teaspoon of sugar and repeat the process to create a perfectly crisp top.

Pumpkin Creme Brulee Recipe Ingredients Vermont Baking

Turtle is unfazed by the flames. Too busy guarding the window against those darn trick or treaters.

(Don’t have a torch? First, add one to your Christmas list.  Second, turn on your oven’s broiler and broil for 1 -2 minutes to carmelize the top)

12.  Once you’re done playing with fire, grab your spoon, gently break through the top and savor the sweet pumpkin taste.

Pumpkin Creme Brulee Recipe Ingredients Vermont Baking

yuuuummm.... pumpkin.

Until we play with fire again,

A + H