I confess, I don’t like pumpkin pie. Even if I liked pumpkin pie, I couldn’t possibly eat a whole slice after Thanksgiving dinner, unless I wanted to know what the stuffed turkey felt like.
Pumpkin Crème Brûlées
2 ½ cups heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
6 ounces pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup Turbinado sugar
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Heat the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Whisk together the yolks and sugar in a medium bowl. Continue whisking while adding the hot cream in a thin stream. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Stir in the pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and skim off any foam from the surface. Divide the mixture among 8 crème brûlée dishes and place them into a roasting pan. Add enough hot water to the roasting pan to come half way up the sides of the crème brûlée dishes and bake for 22 to 24 minutes, or until just set. Remove from the water bath and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours, or until firm.
Top 1 crème brûlée with 1 ½ teaspoons of the Turbinado sugar and swirl to coat. Caramelize the sugar with a culinary torch. Finish the remaining crème brûlées with the remaining Turbinado sugar in the same manner. Serve immediately.
Serves 8. Canned pumpkin puree is perfect for this recipe. You can tell that the crème brûlées are done when they jiggle like gelatin. If you don’t have crème brûlée dishes, you can use ramekins, but they will take slightly longer to bake. And if you don’t have a culinary torch, you can caramelize the sugar topping under a preheated broiler. Crème brûlées may be baked a day or two in advance and kept covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator. Add Turbinado sugar and caramelize just before serving.