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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Perfect Pumpkin Crème Brûlée--Take That, Wegmans!

Once upon a time, I got a pumpkin crème brûlée from Wegmans, and it was amazing! Then I attempted to replicate it, and that was not so amazing. I've tried several recipes over the past couple years, but nothing has come even close to the one I bought at Wegmans. While my failed attempts were tasty, they just weren't quite the right texture or flavor as what I wanted them to be. I must admit that I've found very few recipes that I can't conquer, so I decided it was time to battle the brûlée yet again.

I'm slightly obsessed with Saveur Magazine and Saveur.com, so I decided to see what they had in their files. I found a base crème brûlée recipe that was adapted from a Dieter Schorner (former pastry chef at Le Cirque, NYC) concoction. I did a little more adapting since I wanted a pumpkin crème brûlée, and this time, my friends, it was perfect.

I think finding the right recipe was key, but I think using real ingredients is also essential. This time I used real pumpkin (leftover from a Blue Hubbard I roasted and froze last fall) and I used Trickling Springs heavy cream, which is most certainly the real deal.

Here is my adaptation of Saveur's adaptation: bonne chance!

2 Cups - Heavy Cream
5 Tbsp - Sugar 
1 Tsp - Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp - Nutmeg
1 Tsp - Vanilla Extract
1 Pinch - Salt

4 - Egg Yolks
1 Cup - Pumpkin Pureé

1. Preheat oven to 275°. In a small pan, bring cream, 2 tbsp. sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt just to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
2. In another bowl, whisk egg yolks with 1 tbsp. sugar until sugar dissolves, and then whisk in Pumpkin Puree.

3. Slowly whisk in cooled cream (if it is not cool, yolks will scramble).

4. Strain through a fine sieve (you CANNOT skip this step)

5. Pour custard into 9inch dish or divide custard between 4 shallow gratin dishes (each about 1/2 cup in capacity).

6. Place dishes in a baking pan (or I used a large Pampered Chef skillet), then place pan in oven. Pour enough cold water into pan to come about halfway up sides of dishes. Bake until custard is set, 40-45 minutes for 1 large dish or 30-35 minutes for the smaller dishes.

7. Cover cooled custard with plastic wrap--make sure the custard is cool before you cover it, or else condensation will form and you'll have a layer of water on top of your custard.
8.Chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.

9. Right before you're going to serve, sprinkle sugar on top of custard and use a blowtorch to caramelize the sugar topping.

3 comments:

Katie said...

Did you really use a blowtorch?

Richele said...

You better believe it! You know I'm kind of a pyro :)

Lys ~ Cooking In Stilettos said...

Looks absolutely fabulous!