SPICED PUMPKIN CRÈME BRÛLÉE
Crème brûlée offers a sweet end to a lavish feast. Ours is made with pumpkins and is served communally in a large baking pan for all to enjoy.
1⁄2 cup plus 4 teaspoons sugar
5 egg yolks, at room temperature
11⁄2 cups heavy cream
1 cinnamon stick
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds reserved
3⁄4 cup pumpkin puree
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the 1⁄2 cup sugar and the egg yolks.
In a saucepan, combine the cream, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, and vanilla seeds and bean, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Rest a fine-mesh sieve over the bowl containing the egg yolk mixture, and slowly pour the hot cream mixture into the yolk mixture while whisking. Whisk in the pumpkin puree.
Pour the mixture into a 9 × 12-inch baking pan and place it in a larger baking pan. Add boiling water to fill the large pan halfway up the sides of the smaller pan. Cover the pans loosely with aluminum foil, and bake until the custard is just set, about 30 minutes.
Transfer the smaller baking pan to a wire rack and let the custard cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate, covered, for at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.
Just before serving, sprinkle the remaining 4 teaspoons sugar evenly over the surface of the custard. Using a kitchen torch, move the flame continuously over the surface until the sugar melts and browns lightly. Serve immediately.
C O O K ’ S N O T E| A small kitchen torch is not a costly investment and is worth purchasing for fun projects like this.