Volume 3 Issue 8
October, 2000

          Pumpkin Custard Brulee

a twist for the season

     Pumpkin pie can get a bit boring especially if they are store bought. Here is a twist on a couple of classic flan or custard desserts. Taken from the french classic creme caramel and the spanish crema catalana this can easily become a seasonal favorite. It is creamy smooth  with fall flavors and a nice caramel crunch on top.

Pumpkin Custard Brulee

5 cups whole milk 
1.5 C pumpkin cut into small pieces 

                2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half 
                8 large egg yolks 
                1 cup sugar 
                1/2 cup cornstarch 
                6 tablespoons sugar for caremelizing tops 
                Vanilla extract 

                Combine milk, pumpkin and cinnamon
                sticks in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to boil.
                Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes, stirring
                occasionally, until pumpkin is soft. Remove from heat. 
                Discard the cinnamon sticks.

                Puree pumpkin and milk in food processor.

                Using electric mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar and vanilla
                extract in large, metal bowl until light and lemon colored.
                Beat in cornstarch. Gradually whisk in hot milk/pumpkin
                mixture. Sit bowl over pot of  simmering water and
                heat until mixture boils, whisking as necessary, about 10
                minutes at this stage.. Divide custard among six custard cups. 
                Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.

                The easiest way to caramelize the tops is with a 
                propane torch or preheat broiler. Sprinkle sugar evenly over
                custards. Broil until sugar caramelizes.