Pumpkin Pie Creme Brulee

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 55 min
  • Prep: 35 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 20 min
  • Yield: 10 servings
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Ingredients

Pecan and Butter Cracker Crust, recipe follows

3 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod reserved

8 egg yolks

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup whole milk

2 cups canned pumpkin puree

Hot water

1/4 cup turbinado sugar

Butter Cracker and Pecan Crust:

32 butter crackers (recommended: Ritz crackers)

1/2 cup pecans

5 tablespoons unsalted butter melted, plus more if needed

2 to 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Make the crust: In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse the crackers and pecans until finely ground, 6 to 10 pulses. Add the melted butter and brown sugar and pulse to combine. Press the mixture into the bottoms and 1/2 inch up the sides of ten 6-ounce ramekins. Put the ramekins in a large baking dish or roasting pan and blind bake in the oven, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
  2. Make the custard: Combine 2 cups cream, the cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Halve the vanilla bean lengthwise; scrape out the seeds with a knife, then add the seeds and pod to the saucepan. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Whisk the egg yolks with the granulated sugar in a bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups cream and the milk to the saucepan. Slowly whisk in the yolk mixture, then strain the custard through a sieve back into the bowl. Whisk in the pumpkin.
  3. Divide the pumpkin mixture among the ramekins. Pour hot water into the baking dish, about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the custard is starting to set but is still a little wiggly in the middle, 55 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the oven; remove the ramekins from the water bath and let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.
  4. Lightly sprinkle the custard with turbinado sugar. Heat the sugar with a butane torch until caramelized. To get a thicker caramelized sugar crust, repeat, using just a light sprinkling of sugar each time. Let cool.

Butter Cracker and Pecan Crust:

  1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse the crackers and pecans until finely ground, about 6 to 10 (3-second) pulses. Add the melted butter and brown sugar and pulse to combine. Press into the bottom of a springform pan, baking dish, or 8 (6-ounce) ramekins.

Cook’s Note

If you happen to have any leftover creme brulee mixture, pour it into a baking dish and put it into another roasting pan. Add hot water about halfway up the sides of the dish and bake until custard is starting to set, yet still a little wiggly in the middle, about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours. Refer to recipe for caramelizing sugar on top after it has cooled completely.