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Pumpkin and Brown-Sugar Crème Brulee

Recipe by Sarah Patterson Scott, as published in Bon Appetit  |  Yield: 8 servings
Stuck in a rut of pumpkin pies year after year? This November, our retreatants were treated to these rich custards for dessert to sweeten up a rainy day. We garnished ours with snappy ginger cookies for a bit of extra crunch, but these easy-to-make custards are lovely on their own.


  • 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 8 tablespoons white granulated sugar, to torch

Preheat oven to 325°F. Whisk pumpkin, ¼ cup granulated sugar, and the brown sugar in large bowl. Whisk in egg yolks and vanilla, then spices and salt. Bring cream just to boil in medium saucepan (take it off as soon as it starts to boil, so that it does not scorch!). Gradually whisk hot cream into pumpkin mixture.

Divide mixture among eight 5x1-inch ramekins. Divide ramekins between 2 large roasting pans. Add enough hot water to pans to come halfway up sides of ramekins. This creates a “water bath” that allows the custard to cook more gently and evenly. Bake until custards are just set in center, about 35 minutes. Remove ramekins from the water, being careful not to drip the water onto the custards (or onto your skin, it’s hot!). Chill custards until cold, about 6 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead.Cover and keep chilled.

When you are ready to serve - sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar over pumpkin custard in each ramekin. Using kitchen torch, melt sugar until deep amber. (Alternatively, use broiler. Place ramekins on rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle tops with brown sugar [not raw sugar] and melt directly under broiler until deep amber.) Refrigerate 15 minutes to allow sugar to harden.


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