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Pumpkin Crème Brûlée

Servings: 4
With the addition of pumpkin puree, classic crème brûlée reflects the flavors and colors of autumn. The custard is laced with warming spices, including cinnamon, allspice, ginger and nutmeg.

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 egg yolks
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup plus 4 tsp. granulated sugar

Preheat an oven to 300°F/150°C. Have a pot of boiling water ready. Line a shallow baking pan with a kitchen towel.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the cream until bubbles form around the edges and steam begins to rise from the surface, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, vanilla, salt, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg and the 1/4 cup sugar until smooth and blended. Slowly pour in the cream, stirring until blended. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl. Divide the mixture among four 8-oz. ramekins and place in the prepared baking pan. Add boiling water to fill the pan halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil and bake until the custards are just set around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes.

Transfer the ramekins to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.

Just before serving, sprinkle 1 tsp. 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.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Williams-Sonoma Kitchen
Date: October 9, 2004