Recipe Remix: Pumpkin Crème Brulee Recipe

Year-round, our Black-Bottom Crème Brulee is one of the favorite ways to end a meal at our waterfront San Diego restaurant Baleen. While I can’t give away that top-secret formula, I figured we would share a similar crème brulee recipe (with a twist) that is perfect for this time of year. 

This Pumpkin Crème Brulee recipe is one of my favorite seasonal dishes since it combines a timeless dessert with traditional holiday flavors, making it a unique, unexpected ending to a Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas brunch.  Try this unique holiday dessert recipe just once, and you’ll learn that despite its fancy name, crème brulee is a sweet, simple dish that will earn you lots of kudos this holiday season without a lot of effort.

Depending on the ramekin size, this recipe yields 4-6 servings. 


  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 pinches nutmeg
  • 1 pinch ginger
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup coarse sugar or raw sugar


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium saucepan, heat the whipping cream, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves over medium heat, stirring occasionally just until it comes to a boil. Immediately turn off the heat and set aside to infuse for at least 15 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks with granulated sugar. Whisking constantly, gradually pour in the hot cream mixture, then whisk in the pumpkin puree. Pour the mixture into ovenproof ramekins and arrange in a hot water bath with water level halfway up the side of the ramekin. Bake in the center of the oven until almost set but still a bit soft in the center, approximately 40 minutes. The custard should shimmy a bit when you shake the pan (don’t worry - it will firm up more as it cools). Remove from the water bath and let cool 15 minutes. Tightly cover each ramekin with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic does not touch the surface of the custard. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, though consistency is much thicker and desirable closer to 24 hours of setting time.

When ready to serve, preheat a broiler to very hot, or fire up your kitchen torch. Uncover the chilled custards and pour a layer of sugar (either regular white granulated or raw turbinado – brown sugar burns too easily) onto the top of each custard. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan and broil until the sugar is melted and well browned (1 to 2 minutes), or hold kitchen torch 3-4 inches away from sugar and move in slow, circular motions until all sugar is melted and slightly brown. Let cool 1 minute before serving.


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Thanks Chef Jesse. Will have to try this out. Thanks again for making our 25th Anniversary awesome with the Milk and Cookies. Kelly/Kristina Russell - 11 October 2011.


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