Pumpkin, it is!
Most crème brûlée are very creamy and custard-like, while this one leans more towards pumpkin pie without a pie crust. I was a bit concerned that it would be too spicy, but it turned out perfect. I did tweak a few slight things with this recipe, so it was more in line with the crème brûlée I've made before. The flavor is great, and the crunchy burnt sugar topping is a fantastic addition with a contrasting texture.
Who needs the traditional pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving? I think I'll be serving this instead!
Pumpkin Crème Brûlée
(from Williams-Sonoma Kitchens)
Serves 6 (four-ounce ramekins)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp. freshly grated cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
5 egg yolks
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
6 Tbs. pumpkin puree
1/3 cup plus 6 tsp. granulated sugar
1 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Have a pot of boiling water ready.
Pour the cream into a small saucepan and whisk in the cinnamon, allspice, ginger and nutmeg. Set over medium-low heat and warm the cream mixture until bubbles form around the edges of the pan and steam begins to rise from the surface, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 15 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, vanilla, salt, pumpkin puree, the 1/3 cup granulated sugar and the brown sugar until smooth and blended. Slowly pour in the cream mixture, stirring until blended. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl. Divide the mixture among six 4-fl.-oz. ramekins and place in a large baking pan. Add boiling water to fill the pan halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the custards are just set around the edges, about 30-35 minutes.
Transfer the ramekins to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.
Just before serving, sprinkle 1 tsp. granulated sugar evenly over the surface of each custard. Using a kitchen torch according to the manufacturer's instructions, move the flame continuously in small circles over the surface until the sugar melts and lightly browns. Serve immediately.