Pumpkin crème brûlée with fresh ginger and cinnamon

Pumpkin crème brûlée with fresh ginger and cinnamon

Pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger. Those three words conjure up feelings of warmth, festivities and deliciousness. Take those three ingredients and make a crème brûlée with them — and you’ll have a dessert that’s just plain sublime!

Even before the first bite, the sound of the crust cracking with the back of the spoon instantly makes the mouth water in anticipation of the contrast between the crunchy-sweet caramel and the silky-smooth custard. Then each spoonful is pure heaven, best eaten as unhurriedly as one can.

I find crème brûlée to be a perfect dinner party dessert, and I have many different versions for every season of the year. But during the holidays, making them with freshly baked sugar pumpkins is an extraordinary treat. The creaminess of the pumpkin purée only accentuates the inherent smoothness of the custard. The ginger and cinnamon tantalize the taste buds and linger beautifully until you cannot resist and must take another bite.

Simple, elegant and totally scrumptious, this pumpkin crème brûlée is sure to make your holiday dinner party a memorable one.

Sugar pumpkin

Pumpkin crème brûlée with fresh ginger and cinnamon

serves 6
active time: 30 min

  1. 3/4 cup pumpkin purée
  2. 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger root (use a microplane grater)
  3. 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  4. 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  5. 1/2 cup whole milk
  6. 5 extra large egg yolks
  7. 1/3 cup organic sugar
  8. pinch sea salt
  1. 3 tablespoons organic sugar for the caramelized crust
  2. 6 6-ounce porcelain ramekins

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F (150ºC).
  2. Step 1: Place the pumpkin purée, ginger and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Whisk until well blended. Set aside.
  3. Step 2: Heat the cream and milk in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. When the liquid has reached boiling point remove from heat and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the egg yolks, sugar and salt at high speed, until the mixture is very pale and ribbony, about 2 minutes. Reduce to low speed and slowly whisk the hot cream into the egg yolk mixture. Add the pumpkin purée and whisk until well blended. Skim all air bubbles with a mesh spatula.
  4. Step 3: Pour the custard into the molds, filling them 1/4” from rim. Place the ramequins in a large baking pan and pour enough hot water in the pan to reach about 1/2″ up the side of the ramequins. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. The custards should be barely set and slightly jiggle when gently shaken. Remove the custards from the water bath and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate the custards for at least 6 hours or up to 2 days. When ready to serve, sprinkle the custards with the sugar. Hold a lit kitchen torch 4 to 6 inches from the sugar topping and move the flame evenly over the surface until a caramel crust forms. Let the custards cool for a few minutes before serving.
  5. Cook’s note: The caramel topping can be made up to 4 hours ahead and the crème brûlée can be refrigerated again until ready to serve. If left in the refrigerator longer though, the caramel topping will start to soften and will lose its crunch.

Viviane’s tip
  1. Contrary to what many people believe, crème brûlée is not hard to make. The custard base is simple to prepare; all you’ll need is to keep an eye on them so they don’t overbake. Crème brûlée can be prepared up to two days ahead — a huge plus when planning a holiday party. I also highly recommend buying a kitchen torch. It’ll make the job infinitely easier and will yield perfect results.

Pumpkin crème brûlée with fresh ginger and cinnamon

dessert, creme brulee, pumpkin

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  • Reply Ellie Ritt December 29, 2015 at 11:53 pm

    Viviane, what do you think of making the pumpkin creme brûlée in one dish … to bring to a New Year’s Eve dinner party … would it work in your estimation? Thanks …. this sounds so delicious!

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre December 30, 2015 at 7:21 am

      Hello Ellie! Yes, you can absolutely make the crème brûlée in a large mold, but you’ll need to adjust the cooking time. I haven’t tested this recipe in a large mold, so unfortunately I cannot give you an exact time. One tip: make sure to use a wide mold as you don’t want the crème brûlée to be too deep. Wishing you and yours a most delicious New Year!

  • Reply Donna Ford December 22, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Yummy, I love Pumpkin. I’ll enjoy that crust cracking in my mouth. Can’t wait 🙂
    Thank you Viviane!!

  • Reply Liz December 15, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    We LOVE creme brulee…and your pumpkin version sounds magnificent!

  • Reply Heather December 28, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    Yummy! Although I won’t be springing for a kitchen torch. My propane torch (from the plumbing dept at the hardware store) does the trick – and does double duty of turning wood in fireplace into a lovely warm fire. 🙂

  • Reply Xai December 27, 2009 at 1:18 am

    i don’t like pumpkin, but this looks so good to ignore pumpkin. WONDERFUL!

  • Reply Kevin December 11, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    This would be a really nice way to enjoy some pumpkin!

  • Reply Danielle December 5, 2009 at 10:48 am

    ginger, pumpkin and cinnamon. Those are actual food groups, aren’t they?

  • Reply Susan December 4, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Saw this on Tastespotting…this looks wonderful…and, you have a nice site here…

  • Reply Claudia December 4, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Love all the flavors – just scrumptious and instructions are grand.

  • Reply April December 3, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    I’ve been looking for a pumpkin creme brulee recipe– thanks for the great step-by-step instructions!

  • Reply foodlovee December 3, 2009 at 7:23 am

    your pumpkin creme brulee sounds so yummy!!!

  • Reply Dawn@CocinaSavant December 2, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    this looks and sounds delicious! i’m a fan of most things pumpkin, and a creamy rich sugar topped creme brule sounds decadent.

    that is the cutest spoon too 🙂

  • Reply penny December 2, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    I like very much. Creme brulee and pumpkin. Ingenius.

  • Reply The Foodie Forkful December 2, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Sounds delicious!

  • Reply Jessie December 2, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    wow very elegant dessert, I wish I had ramekins so I can make this

  • Reply wasabi prime December 2, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    Oh, too many things I love here — the zig-zag spoon is precious, creme brulee always makes me think of the movie Amelie since the cracking of the shell was one of the things she loved, and I do love the kitchen torch. And custards in general of course! I made a ghetto-brulee with leftover pumpkin pie filling; just threw some sugar atop ramekins filled with just the cooked pie filling, pulled out the hand torch and “flame on!” Delicious.

  • Reply Noel Chapman December 2, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    I’ve never tried making creme brulee before but I’m willing to give it a try. This sounds like a wonderful holiday dessert!

  • Reply Natasha - 5 Star Foodie December 2, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Looks just heavenly! Wonderful flavors with ginger and cinnamon too!

  • Reply Drick December 2, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    creme brulee is my weakness – something about the custard with a brittle sugar top…wonderfully good recipe …thanks for sharing

  • Reply Shelly Huang December 2, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Creme Brulee is one of my favorite desserts! I esp love it with special flavors like black sesame, and the pumpkin you have here. It makes it feel like such a treat! I’ve actually never given a try yet, so once I get my mini torch I’ll have to try your recipe!

  • Reply tastyeatsathome December 2, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Love love love creme brulee! These sound wonderful. Need to get a kitchen torch!

  • Reply Vegetable Matter December 2, 2009 at 11:17 am

    Creme brulee is one of my absolute favorite desserts, but I have never tried making it with pumpkin. What a great idea for fall. Your pics are gorgeous, too!

  • Reply Miranda December 2, 2009 at 11:04 am

    This looks great….I love pumpkin in EVERYTHING! Well done.

  • Reply Divina November 26, 2009 at 1:01 am

    Never had pumpkin creme brulee yet but it’s worth giving it a try.

  • Reply Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite November 25, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    I am not normally a fan of flavoured crème brûlées but this one looks like it would be subtle enough that it would work. Yum!

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