Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin... oh, how I love thee...
Okay, the only thing I love more than pumpkin season is a reason to get out the kitchen torch for a crème brûlée. It always makes me feel all powerful - master of my domain, or at least the kitchen. Of course combining my love of caramelized sugar and pumpkin together seemed perfect for the cold wet weather outside.
Last month I complained that I hadn't put any pumpkin puree away last year. So, my husband kindly brought me home a couple big fat Dickenson Pumpkins. These are the ones that often end up in your can of pumpkin puree at the grocery store. Why? They are hearty and have an almost neon orange flesh. Now you know how they get that bright colored stuff in the cans... not with the lighter flesh sugar pumpkins, that's for sure!
The outside of the Dickenson seem rather blonde, but inside they are a wild color!
All you need to make fresh pumpkin puree is a pumpkin, a roasting pan, knives and a scoop. I also put a little bit of water in the bottom of my roasting pan to keep them moist and not dried out.
This year I was able to use this clever little Good Cook Pumpkin Scoop. Inside the shaft is a knife - worked very well on getting my pumpkin oven. Then I used the wide and sturdy scoop to clean out the seeds and stringy pulp. One side of the scoop is serrated for grabbing the pumpkin guts, while the smooth side did a great job scraping it all clean.
Then roast at 350 till tender. I pureed my pumpkin up in the Blendtec, then divided it into 1 cup portions to freeze. Now I feel all better. Plenty of homegrown pumpkin for the holidays.
Not to waste a bit, I gave all the seeds and stringy pulp to my hens. They keep me in eggs so it is a pretty fair trade.
Because the road to a crème brûlée is totally paved with eggs... 5 to be exact.
The process of making a crème brûlée is really easy. In fact, it is more forgiving than a homemade pudding because you can always take out any lumps or pieces of egg or spices that would detract from the creamy texture.
I used my Good Cook roasting pan to place the ramekins in. It was light, sturdy and held all the hot water in without mishap or sloshing.
Both Good Cook products are available on their website. Check out the Good Cook Bakeware in time for the holidays. It is tough and at a reasonable price for entertaining needs.
As for the Good Cook Pumpkin Scoop? Well, I have to say this is so slick I want to order more to have on hand for pumpkin carving next year. Don't worry. I will keep one designated for baking, but it worked so well and held up to my vigorous scraping I need more! You can pick them up at Walmart.
For a chance to win this, turkey tools or other kitchen goodies, mark your calendar for The Ultimate Thanksgiving Twitter Party - November 25th 2013, at 6pm ET - #Thanksgivingtips. I will be there as a Good Cook Kitchen Expert Host, so be sure to say "Hi". RSVP for a chance to win. The first 500 to RSVP for the party will receive a pair of turkey lifters.
Do you remember the opening to Amelie when she is talking about her favorite things? She mentioned the first crack of a crème brûlée as her spoon breaks through to the custard. I have to agree.
I am sure she would approve of my Pumpkin Spice version.
Pumpkin Spice Crème Brûlée
You Will Need:
- 2 c. heavy cream
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. allspice
- 1/2 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 6 Tbsp. pumpkin puree
- 1/3 c. + 5 tsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. brown sugar, firmly packed
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and bring a kettle up to boil.
In a small saucepan whisk together the cream and spices. Over a medium heat warm the mixture up until it begins to bubble around the edges. Remove from the heat and let it cool for 15 minutes.
In a large bowl whisk the remaining ingredients, except the 5 tsp. of sugar. Set that aside.
Slowly add the warm cream mixture to the eggs to temper them. Then pour the mixture through a fine sieve to catch any bits of egg or large chunks of pumpkin. This will help make a smooth and even textured custard. Pour the custard mixture into 5 ramekins and place these in a broiler pan. Pour boiling water around the ramekins carefully, coming up halfway on the ramekins.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the custard has set. Then let the custards cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Right before serving dust the top of each ramekin evenly with 1 tsp. of sugar. With a kitchen torch, pass the flame over the sugar until it melts and starts to turn golden brown. Serve immediately.