Pumpkin Crème brûlée

by Eddy Van Damme on November 2, 2010

In many countries around the world American classics such as chocolate chip cookies, brownies, muffins and several others have become quite popular.  It would be interesting to know if in a decade or so pumpkin desserts will follow the same path. To be honest, the very first time I tasted pumpkin pie, I was immediately smitten. The whole thing reminded me of a dessert I grew up with in Belgium named Vlaai. Not exactly the same but it still reminds me of it, I call it pure home style unapologetic goodness.

During the Fall, in North America pumpkin pies are very popular and along with pecan pie and sweet potato pie, are served nearly everywhere on the Thanksgiving Holiday. For certain occasions when I need the dessert to be less home style I turn towards pumpkin crème brûlée. Similar ingredients just used in a different ratio.

One of the things I have discovered is that Fresh pumpkins can be tremendous in savory foods but when it comes down to desserts, it is a slightly different story. The leading canned pumpkin manufacturer in the United States has managed to perfect and grow a variety of pumpkins which sweetness, texture and color is ideal for desserts.   Thus I do not fuss with fresh pumpkins unless if I make pumpkin curry soup.

On the ratio of pumpkin to cream… when questioned, most people prefer a crème brûlée with a pumpkin flavor. If what you are looking for is more pumpkin and less crème flavor than I would decrease the cream and increase the pumpkin.

Getting It All Together!

Just as standard Crème brûlée this one can also be made a day or so ahead of time. For the décor use a pumpkin tuile and or caramelized pecans.

Pumpkin Crème brûlée recipe

Yield: about 6 -8 servings

9 6 oz Egg yolks 180 g
1 Cup minus 2 Tbsp (7 oz) Extra fine granulated sugar 210 g
1 ½ Cup (12 oz) Pumpkin puree 360 g
2 ¾ (22 oz) Whipping or heavy cream 660 g
1 teaspoon (1 tsp) Vietnamese Cinnamon (Cassia) 3 g
½ teaspoon ( ½ tsp) Powdered ginger 1.5 g
½ teaspoon ( ½ tsp) Cardamom 1.5 g
½ teaspoon ( ½ tsp) Salt 2.5 g
2 teaspoon (2 tsp) Orange zest-non treated 6 g
  1. Whisk the yolks and add in the sugar, whisk until smooth but do not whip light and thick. (overwhipping creates a thick undesired foam layer on the brulees)
  2. Add the pumpkin followed by all the remaining ingredients.
  3. Pour in desired ramekins and place on a sheet or Hotel pan. Pour water in the pan ensuring that the ramekins are surrounded by water 2/3 deep.
  4. Bake in a 325°F (160°C) oven until the center no longer trembles. Temperatures and time will depend on depth and type of ramekins used. Refrigerate.
  5. To serve sprinkle the surface with granulated sugar and using a blow torch caramelize the sugar.

13 comments on “Pumpkin Crème brûlée

  1. Great idea!!! But what about the egg whites mentioned in the ingredients and not used?

  2. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Thank you for pointing it out to me! It is fixed.

  3. Hilary Adams on said:

    I have been anxiously awaiting this one, Chef!! Simply cannot WAIT to try it!

  4. Susan Tran on said:

    Hi Chef Eddy. I’m super excited to try this recipe. I’m attending the le cordon bleu in austin this year for the patissiere and baking program but will be moving to houston next year for college at uofh or st. thomas. I hope i can meet you later. Your site was a awesome find!

  5. Susan Tran on said:

    oh and another question. since i dont own a torch at home how can i caramelize the sugar at the end. i’m afraid to ruin it with the broiler.

  6. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Hmmmm, a torch indeed is a pretty good method. You could make some extra ones and do a test with your broiler one at a time and see which distance from the broiler gives you the best results.
    All the best!

  7. Diana Wallace on said:

    We had this for Thanksgiving!! It was wonderful!!!

  8. Diana Hall on said:

    Chef Eddy, It was great watching you on Bake it, making the chocolate caramel mousse. Do you have cookies recipes online also? I would love to make the carrot cake cookies, you developed when I was a student in your pastry class. Thanks so much .


  9. Hilary Adams on said:

    I just made 32 of these as Christmas gifts for the people that I work with. IT IS OUTSTANDING!!!! It has a velvety smooth texture and just the right amount of pumpkin flavor! I know that my co-workers are going to want more tomorrow morning, but they’ll have to settle for the recipe instead (because I’m eating any extras!!) ;0)

    I used 3.5 oz. ramekins and one sheet pan had a little less water in it… it baked for 40 minutes. The others had a bit more water and baked for 50 minutes.

    I love pumpkin, so this was right up my alley! Very easy to make and so very good!

    Thank you so much for this recipe, Chef!!

  10. Chef, How can you do for ganish caramilizes pecan with tail texture and crispy one..? its really nice

  11. Ben Davenport on said:

    Does this Vietnamese Cinnamon (Cassia) give it a different flavor then regular cinnamon?

  12. Crystal Swaim on said:

    Chef, what do you mean by orange zest non-treated?

  13. Amy Anglin on said:

    I didn’t know we can add pumpkin in creme burlee. Its sounded good and want to make this at home. Can I add different flavors in creme burlee? Tell me what flavors I can add.

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