It’s that time of year again. It’s getting much colder, the leaves are changing colour and I need warm, comforting flavours to soothe me through these winter months while I hibernate. I know this isn’t really using pumpkin, and I still have plenty in the fridge (pureed, roasted, and soup) but I still have pumpkin on the brain. I’m in this mind frame of finding as many new ways to eat pumpkin as possible, until I’m m sick of it…like that’s gonna happen. Bare with me for yet another pumpkin recipe, and you won’t be disappointed.
Thanks to the friendly green and white labeled coffee shops we see all over these days, I crave a hot pumpkin spiced latte this time of year. It’s everything festive and comforting, and a great way to implement that warming spiced pumpkin flavour into a dessert that is easy to make, is a creme brulee. Creamy, smooth, sweet and bitter, it hits every point you want in a good dessert. Let’s get to it shall we?
Ingredients (makes about 4 medium ramekins):
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup caster sugar
- 284 ml double cream
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 2 cloves
- 1 1/4 tsp instant coffee
- 1/4 tsp vanilla essence
First things first, if you haven’t made a creme brulee before that’s fine. It is super easy and doesn’t require alot of skill. Like all my recipes, I’ve tested them and tested them, so just follow it the best you can and you will be fine.
To get started, preheat the oven to 150c and get a deep tray. The tray must be deep enough that the ramekins will go in, and you are able to fill it with water so that it reaches 2/3rds of the way up the sides of the ramekins. We call this a bain marie. Once you’ve got your tray ready, seperate your eggs, (keep the whites for an omlette or something later on) and put the yolks in a mixing bowl with the sugar, coffee and vanilla essence. Put everything else in a medium sized pan on a medium to low heat.
Meanwhile, whisk the sugar and egg mixture until incorporated. Once the cream mixture comes to the boil take off the heat and leave for a few mintues to infuse a touch longer. Leaving the mixture to infuse a touch is also a good idea as it will cool it down so that when you pour the mixture into the eggs it won’t scramble and ruin the pudding.
While that is working, boil the kettle so the water in the tray will be hot and not take time to heat up. Take the cream mixture and pass through a sieve to get rid of the bits, and then whisk into the egg mixture, slowly pouring but constantly whisking until you have the sugar dissolved.
Lastly, place the ramekins in the tray and fill them as close to the top as you can without spilling any. Take the kettle and pour water into the tray 2/3rds of the way up the sides of the ramekins. Taking a sheet of tin foil to create a lid for the tray will help prevent a skin on the top and any over cooking, but leave one corner turned up to let out some steam and to stop water forming on top of the brulees.
Put in the oven for about 25-35 minutes. The best way to check is to carefully give each one a nudge… it should wobble a bit in the middle but be just set. When done, take them out and let chill in the fridge until ready to use. Then sprinkle with some sugar, and torch it or put under a hot grill for a mintue or so to caramelise.
These will last a few days, so try something different and impress a loved one. Whether it’s for a dinner party or you just fancy something sweet, do you really need an excuse?