Just because we didn't celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving with turkey and all the trimmings this year didn't mean we couldn't have a pie for dessert. Believe you me, this creme brule is every bit as good as a tradititional pumpkin pie, maybe even better!
I happen to love pumpkin pie but I don't necessarily like how soggy the crust gets the day after the night before. While the pie's flavor improves with refrigeration, often the crust doesn't follow suit. This particular creme brule has all the flavor of pumpkin pie along with a rich creamy decadent texture of the best creme brule you'll ever make. It even has a crust but it is far from a soggy one. Yup, you heard right - a crust.
I used a Guy Fieri recipe from Food Network and if you hit the link it'll take you there; however, I took the liberty of changing it up a bit and cut the whole thing in half. It still resulted in 6 four ounce dessert sized ramekins of pure pumpkin delightfulness.
Guy suggested using Ritz crackers, pecans, butter and brown sugar for the crust but instead I made use of vanilla wafers along with walnuts rather than pecans just because I had them on hand, and butter to hold it together. I left out the sugar because the wafers are plenty sweet enough. Packed into the bottom of ramekins, I shoved them in the freezer while I prepped the filling and that way eliminated any "floaters" in the creme brule because the crust is hard when the filling is poured on top.
As for the filling, I split the liquid equally between heavy cream and half and half, used brandy extract rather than vanilla but basically kept the rest the same as Guy's. After the pumpkin was whisked into the liquid, I pressed the whole thing through a sieve to remove the fibrous bits of pumpkin which made for a tremendously creamy end product. We used plain old white sugar to brule the top and the Big Guy manned our industrial strength blow torch for a perfect crispy crunchy coating on top.
Creme brule is definitely toward the top of our list of favorite desserts and while the sky's darn near the limit as far as flavoring goes, I am confident saying this is absolutely one of the best. I'll be putting it on our holiday dinner menu and you might want to do the same.
Pumpkin Pie Crème Brule (adapted from Guy Fieri, Food Network)
Place 6 four ounce ramekins into a deep roasting pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 300. Place kettle of water on stove and bring to a boil.
12 vanilla wafer cookies
1/4 cup walnuts
2-1/2 Tablespoons melted butter
Place wafer cookies and walnuts into food processor and pulse until crumbs form. Add melted butter and pulse briefly until butter is incorporated into crumbs. Place 2 tablespoons of crumb mixture into bottom of ramekins and pat down firmly. Place ramekins in freezer to harden crust.
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon brandy extract
1 cup half and half
1 cup pumpkin puree (drained of any liquid)
2 to 3 tablespoons white sugar
In a small saucepan, heat cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt to boiling, whisking to blend. Remove from heat and allow to infuse for 15 minutes. Meanwhile beat together egg yolks, sugar and brandy extract. Slowly pour heavy cream/spice mixture into egg/sugar mixture. Whisk in half and half and pumpkin puree. Pour mixture through a fine mess sieve and use a spoon to press pumpkin through sieve. Discard any fibrous bits that remain and scrape pumpkin mixture off underside of sieve into liquid. Whisk together to combine well. Pour over hardened crust into ramekins. Place ramekins in preheated oven and carefully pour boiling water around ramekins so it comes half way up sides. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until custard is almost set. It should be still slightly “jiggly” when removed from the oven. Remove ramekins from hot water bath and set on wire racks to cool. Refrigerate at least 6 hours before serving (or overnight). Just before serving sprinkle tops of Brule with sugar and using a torch, heat until sugar is melted and a caramel color. Serves 6. Download Pumpkin Pie Creme Brule
A year ago - Cider Brined Pork Chops on Leeks