Recipe: Pumpkin Crème Brûlée

The first day of fall is here, and you guessed it, our minds are on all things pumpkin. While the infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte is a fall staple, we're partial to Meme Brewer's go-to pumpkin dessert, Pumpkin Crème Brûlée. The creamy spiced custard is topped with a crisp pumpkin seed brittle for the ultimate taste and texture combination.

Pumpkin Crème Brûlée

3 cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar, divided
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
Ginger Pumpkin Seed Brittle, for garnish (See below)

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place 6 (8-ounce) ramekins in a large baking dish. Fill the baking dish with 1/2 inch of hot water.
2. In a large saucepan, combine half-and-half, pumpkin pie spice and ginger. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until mixture comes to a low simmer. Remove from heat.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and 3/4 cup of sugar. Using a ladle, slowly pour 1 cup of the hot half-and-half mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Repeat with a second cup.
4. Then, whisk the egg mixture into the remaining half-and-half mixture. Add the pumpkin, whisking constantly until smooth.
5. Pour into ramekins and bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until set and firm.
6. Let stand for 30 minutes or until cool enough to handle; then remove ramekins from water bath. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours.
7. When ready to serve, preheat broiler. Sprinkle custards with remaining sugar. (Use more if desired.)
8. Place custards 5 1/2 inches away from the heat source. Broil for 3 – 5 minutes or until the sugar melts and browns.
9. Chill 15 – 30 minutes or longer before serving. Serve garnished with shards of Ginger Pumpkin Seed Brittle. Serves 6.

Ginger Pumpkin Seed Brittle

cooking spray
2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons baking soda

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1. Spray a large, rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. In a large saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add salt, stirring to combine.
3. Cook until a candy thermometer registers 250 degrees (firm ball stage). Then, add pepitas and ginger.
4. Continue cooking until thermometer reads 290 degrees (soft crack stage). Remove pan from heat.
5. Stir in the butter and baking soda. Beat until frothy.
6. Pour into prepared pan. Allow to cool at room temperature for 1 – 2 hours, or until hardened. Break into pieces. Store in an airtight container. Makes 10 – 12 servings.

Photo by Todd Douglas

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