Bistro Pumpkin Creme Brulee

Lorna had requested a creme brulee making demo in the Gilmore Park Church community kitchen quite sometime ago. I can’t think of anyone who does not like creme brulee even though it is not exactly the most healthiest dessert around. Karen remembered Lorna’s wish in this week’s cooking meet. So, Karen made not the normal type of creme brulee but two: a Bistro Pumpkin Creme Brulee and a Low Fat Creme Brulee (yippee!).


The Bistro Pumpkin Creme Brulee is made on the stove top. However, this creme brulee does not have a silky smooth custard as traditional creme brulee but it’s quite grainy instead. It’s more like a pumpkin pie filling. Try it for a change particularly around Halloween. It’s a change from the normal creme brulee.


  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin or cooked mash sweet potatoes
  • 2 1/4 cups whipping cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger


Click on the link below for the instructions.


IMG_2050First of all, Karen showed us two different ways of separating the egg yolk from the egg white.The first method is to tap the egg on a flat surface to prevent chipping and break open the shell. Use the shell to hold the egg yolk and while transferring the egg yolk from one half of the shell to the other while allowing the egg white to drop into a bowl. However, Karen told us that this method is not practiced in US as semolina contamination can be transferred from the shell to the egg white/yolk.

The second method is to allow use your hand to filter the egg yolk from the egg white with the assumption that you wash your hand before and after doing it.The safest method is to use an egg separator as shown in the Fresh Fruit Cake blog.

IMG_2059Combine the pumpkin puree and vanilla bean/extract in a measuring cup.

In a heavy saucepan over medium temperature, heat the pumpkin puree, cream and vanilla bean halves/extract.

IMG_2060Heat to a boil and set aside.
IMG_2069Place the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the sugar in a medium stainless steel bowl (or the top of a double boiler) and place the over a pot of barely simmering water. You know the water temperature is right when your hand can stand the heat while holding the stainless steel bowl.
IMG_2074Whisk constantly to prevent the egg yolks from curdling.

Whisk until the mixture forms a ribbon when you lift the whisk, about 6 to 8 minutes.

IMG_2079Slowly whisk in the 1/3 of the hot pumpkin mixture to the egg mixture and stirring frequently. This is called tempering as we do not want to add in too much hot liquid which will scramble the egg.

Once the egg mixture had been tempered, then you may add back the tempered egg mixture back to remaining of the hot pumpkin mixture, stirring frequently.

IMG_2090Cook over medium heat until the mixture has the consistency of softly whipped cream, about 40 to 50 minutes.
IMG_2094Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger and mix well.
IMG_2102Pour into custard cups and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.When ready to serve, sprinkle each custard with 2 teaspoons of sugar and place under a preheated boiler for 2 to 3 minutes or until the sugar is browned. Serve immediately.

I will show you the torching method in tomorrow’s blog of Low Fat Creme Brulee.

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