Double Pumpkin Brulee

There’s nothing like playing with fire in the kitchen! Fancy gadget stores carry “culinary” propane torches, but buying a small one at the hardware store is an even better bet. It will burn hotter and last longer.


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2 large eggs
8 yolks
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
6–8 mini pumpkins, hollowed out
1/2 cup demerara sugar or Sugar in the Raw

Preheat oven to 300°.

1. Whisk together the eggs and yolks in a spacious heat-proof bowl. Set aside close at hand.

2. In a saucepan, combine all the remaining ingredients.

3. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

4. Remove from heat. Immediately pour the hot cream mixture into the eggs, a little at a time, while whisking constantly.  Strain.

5. Pour the custard into the prepared pumpkins and arrange them in a roasting pan.

6. Pour two inches of water into the pan around the little pumpkins and cover pan with foil.

7. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, then check the consistency. The custards are done when they barely shimmy in the center when gently shaken. If needed, continue to bake for up to an additional 30 minutes more, checking every 10 minutes.

8. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until well chilled (overnight is best).

9. When ready to serve, sprinkle raw sugar over custard and caramelize with a blowtorch.