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Home > Restaurants > Recipes > Pumpkin Crème Brûlée

Pumpkin Crème Brûlée

Provided by: Chef Daniel Boulud

  • Type of Dish: Desserts: All, Desserts: Other
  • Servings: 8
  • Cuisine: American, French
  • Special Requests: Vegetarian/Vegan
  • Reader Rating: Write a Review

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Crème brûlée in a tiny pumpkin isn’t just dessert; it’s an argument for year-round French and American cuisine overlap.


8 miniature pumpkins, 4 inches diameter and 1 ½ inches high
½ cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 egg yolks
1½ cups heavy cream
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean, split
1 cup pumpkin purée


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the caps from the pumpkins about ∏ inch down from the top, and reserve. Scoop out the insides, leaving a -inch-thick wall around the sides. Mix 1 tablespoon sugar and the cinnamon together, and sprinkle the inside of each pumpkin, wrap individually in aluminum foil, place on a baking sheet, and transfer to oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a heatproof bowl, whisk together ½ cup sugar and the egg yolks. Combine the cream, cinnamon stick, and vanilla bean in a saucepot, and bring to a simmer. Slowly whisk the hot cream into the yolk mixture through a fine-meshed sieve. Whisk in the pumpkin purée. Remove the pumpkins from the aluminum foil, place on a baking sheet, and fill each one with enough pumpkin-cream mixture to reach ¼ inch from the top. Return to the oven, and bake for 20 minutes. Check to see if the edges have set but the center is still wobbly; if the mixture is still liquid, return to oven for up to 20 minutes. (Ramekins can be used but should be placed in a water bath to cook). Cool at room temperature. When ready to serve, sprinkle the tops of the pumpkins evenly with a thin layer of the remaining sugar. Brûlée with a torch until the sugar is golden brown and crispy. Serve warm or at room temperature, with the pumpkin caps displayed on the side.

(Published 2009)