Need a simple pumpkin creme brulée recipe that tastes amazing? Look no further than this recipe.
If you’re making this fall dessert for the first time, you’ll appreciate the step-by-step directions in this post.
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Best-Ever Pumpkin Creme Brulée
Made with real pumpkin puree, eggs, milk, and sugar, this creme brulee recipe is the real deal.
I’ve taken my mother’s original recipe and upped the ante by adding pumpkin and spices to the mix for an epic-tasting dessert.
You can use pumpkin spice or ground cinnamon in the recipe, depending on how much you love the fall flavors. Pumpkin spice, some love it, some hate it, so I leave the decision of which one to use for you to decide.
This dessert is made with simple, easy-to-find ingredients year-round, plus an extra layer of flavor from pumpkin puree and cinnamon!
- Half & half: the base for the custard must be full-fat.
- Vanilla extract: super important ingredient in creme brulee.
- Cinnamon: complements the pumpkin and vanilla flavor, can be swapped with pumpkin spice.
- Pumpkin puree: not your typical creme brulee, but it’s SO GOOD.
- Egg yolks: binds the milk and sugar to give the custard a smooth and creamy texture.
- Sugar: some for the custard, and the rest is brûléed over the top!
Pumpkin Creme Brulée with Half and Half
The reason you use half and half to make creme brulee is to achieve a thick custard-like texture. Skipping the fat, or the thickness of this liquid, will yield a runny creme brulee, and we don’t want that!
Just the Yolks
Like traditional creme brulee, you’ll need to separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and only use the yolks. The egg yolks give creme brulée the texture and helps it form a custard.
Save the egg whites for an omelet or to make homemade marshmallows.
How to Make Pumpkin Creme Brulée
Let’s get in the kitchen and make a restaurant-worthy pumpkin creme, brulee!
Preheat the oven to 350F and set out 6 glass ramekins in a large baking pan with sides.
- Make a water bath
Fill the bottom of the pan with enough water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Set aside.
- Start the custard
In a medium saucepan, combine the half & half, vanilla, cinnamon, and pumpkin puree over medium heat.
- Separate the egg yolks
Add the yolks and sugar to a medium bowl and whisk until you have a pale yellow paste. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the egg mixture.
Fill each ramekin up to the inner rim with the mixture. Bake for 30 minutes, or the custard is set, but the middle jiggles.
Remove the ramekins from the pan and cool down to room temperature before refrigerating for 2 hours or up to 3 days.
- To serve
Spread granulated sugar over each ramekin of custard. Use a torch to melt the sugar until it forms a crispy, golden-brown top. Grab a spoon, and you know what to do next.
There’s an art to the perfect creme brulee, and while the steps above show you the basics, you’ll need the recipe from the end of this post to master the craft!
How to Know when Pumpkin Creme Brulée is Ready
You’ll know it’s ready when the edges are set, the custard is still jiggly, and the centers are not liquid –they’ll be just set.
Once fully cooled, the entire creme brulee in the dish will set further and have a custard/pudding-like texture.
The Perfect Creme Brulée Topping
What sets creme brulée apart is the sugary crust formed at the top, achieved only by using a culinary torch.
You can use granulated white sugar or brown sugar to make the crust of this recipe.
If you don’t have a kitchen torch, you can top your creme brulée with whipped cream and a little dusting of cinnamon.
How Long Does Creme Brulée Last in the Fridge
Creme brulee leftovers will last in the fridge for up to 3 days. This means it’s the perfect dessert to make ahead if you’re planning on cooking a full holiday or Thanksgiving menu.
Pumpkin Creme Brulée
- 3 cups half & half
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon*
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 6 large egg yolks
- ½ cup + 6 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the ramekins in a large baking dish and fill with enough water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the half & half, vanilla, cinnamon, and pumpkin puree over medium heat.
- Add the egg yolks and ½ cup sugar to a medium bowl. Whisk until it turns into a smooth pale yellow paste, the sugar should be dissolved.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and slowly whisk in the egg mixture. Whisk continuously until the mixture is smooth.
- Fill each ramekin up to the inner rim with the custard mixture; be careful not to overfill.
- Place the ramekins in the baking dish and place it on the center shelf of the oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until the custard is set, but the middles jiggle.
- Remove the baking dish from the oven and allow the custards to reach room temperature before refrigerating for 2 hours or up to 3 days.
- To serve, spread 1 tablespoon of sugar over the top of each custard and use a blow torch to caramelize the sugar into a golden-brown crust.