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pumpkin creme brulee

How Many Calories? Your Choice!

Do you want to go for the gold this holiday season and make your creme brulee wonderfully rich? Or are you trying to watch your calories but don’t want to go without desserts?
This is a pumpkin creme brulee recipe that you can alter to your personal needs and taste.

Let’s Keep It All Easy-Breezy, Shall We?

I like to keep recipes fast and easy, cutting unnecessary steps whenever possible as long as the end product is the same.
This is one recipe that has been altered.

If you’ve made creme brulee before, you’ll know that quite often it requires a middle step where you scald the cream before adding to other ingredients. This is where novices have trouble. If you burn the cream it affects the taste, and if you pour the heated cream into the eggs too quickly you can cook them and end up with scrambled egg bits in your custard. Not so nice. Just skip it – no one will ever notice and you’ll have a smooth custard.
Another area that I skipped is using a brulee torch to caramelize the topping. How often are you really going to use one? It doesn’t justify the cost, does it? And. . . do you know how many toppings were burnt and counter tops singed using a torch? Best leave that one alone and use the oven!

Pumpkin Creme Brulee Recipe

Make this dessert the day before, refrigerate overnight and caramelize the topping just before serving.


1 can (12 ounces) Evaporated Milk (Go for the gold recipe substitute 1 1/2 cups of 35% Real Cream)
3/4 cup Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs and 2 large egg whites (Go for the gold recipe substitute 4 egg yolks)
*optional (choose one): 2 tbsp rum, cognac, brandy or maple syrup


PREHEAT oven to 325°F. Place six 6-ounce ramekins (oven proof custard cups) in 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

CREAM eggs and egg whites (or egg yolks for the go for the gold recipe) with sugar, using whisk.

ADD evaporated milk (or cream for the go for the gold recipe) and mix well. Traditionally the custard in creme brulee is made with heavy cream, but if you substitute evaporated milk there are fewer calories and it’s a lighter color but the custard has the same taste and texture.

ADD pumpkin purée, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and ginger, and the optional ingredient if using and mix well. It is important to use pure vanilla extract – not the imitation stuff. Yes, I know there’s quite a price difference but vanilla is an important ingredient in any creme brulee. The addition of salt brings out the sweetness.

POUR into ramekins or oven proof custard cups – fill to about a 1/2 inch from the top.

TRANSFER baking pan with cups to the oven. Pour boiling water into the pan – without splashing into the cups – to a depth half way up the cups. The water bath cooks the custard slowly and evenly. The depth of water is important to the process.

BAKE for 20 – 35 minutes, just until set. Don’t overcook! Give the pan a little shake. If the centers of the custard shake like jello but the edges are firm, its done.

TRANSFER cups to a cooling rack to set until cool to the touch. This step allows the centers to continue to cook, saves your fridge from overworking if hot custards are put in, and keeps condensation from forming puddles on the top of the custard.

COVER with plastic wrap and put in fridge for at least 2 hours before serving. Overnight is even better.

Ready to Serve

PREHEAT broiler. Sprinkle each crème brûlée with 1 teaspoon of sugar. Place cups in pan. Broil 1 to 2 minutes, rotating pan once, until sugar is melted and caramelized. Keep your eye on it because it doesn’t take long.

Refrigerate 5 to 10 minutes or until topping hardens.

Makes 6 servings

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