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Get in the Fall Mood With This Five-Star Crème Brûlée

published Oct 15, 2019
Pumpkin Crème Brûlée
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Credit: Sugar In The Raw®

Crème brûlée has one of the biggest wow factors that a dessert can have with a blow torch’s live fire melting and crystallizing sugar into a crackly top. Adding to the fun — each person gets to break through that burnished shell to get into the creamy custard underneath. Throw some pumpkin purée into the custard base and now you’ve got a true five-star dessert for the fall season.

Crème brûlée is simply a baked custard that’s thickened with eggs. Whisk some pumpkin and spices into the base and sweeten it with Sugar In The Raw®, which will add a molasses-y flavor that complements the pumpkin. The coarse, delicious turbinado sugar, which is grown in the tropics, is also sprinkled over the tops of the crème brûlées right before serving. When hit with a blow torch or the heat from the broiler, the sugar melts and flows over the surface, bubbling and browning into a thin, crunchy shell.

How Hot Water Helps

To get the custard to set up perfectly smooth, the crème brûlées are baked in a hot water bath, which provides even heat and keeps everything from overcooking or curdling. Be careful when pouring the hot water into the roasting pan because you don’t want any water splashing into the ramekins. Use a tea kettle if you have one to heat the water, as its built-in spout will make pouring easy so that the water goes exactly where you want it to.

Pumpkin Crème Brûlée

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes

Serves 6

Nutritional Info


  • 3

    large egg yolks

  • 1/2 cup

    Sugar In The Raw®, plus more for topping

  • 1 cup

    heavy cream

  • 1 cup

    unsweetened pumpkin purée

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon

    pumpkin pie spice


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 325℉. Place 6 (6-ounce) ramekins in a roasting pan or other deep baking dish. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, then turn off the heat.

  2. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a medium bowl.

  3. Bring the cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk the hot cream into the yolk mixture. Add the pumpkin, vanilla, and pumpkin spice, and whisk to combine.

  4. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a large measuring cup.

  5. Divide the mixture between the ramekins. Pull out the oven rack halfway, then place the pan on it. Carefully pour in the hot water so it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins but does not splash into the ramekins. Gently push the rack into the oven.

  6. Bake until the custards are set but jiggle slightly in the center, about 30 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the water bath to a wire rack and let cool completely.

  7. Cover each ramekin with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours. Before serving, sprinkle the custards with a layer of sugar and use a propane torch or broiler to caramelize the sugar.