Pumpkin Crème Brûlée
After several days trying to fix my crappy wireless router I gave up and bought a new one and now that I finally figured out how to set it up and all I've just found my e-mail inbox all cluttered, lots of messages to reply and so many pending recipes to publish! This one in particular was planned to be published last week but I was so busy making my sister's birthday cake and preparing my blog's 5th anniversary special post that it had to wait until today. Talking about Cinnamon Girl turning 5, I can't wait to show you what I've prepared! I'm very happy with how that recipe came out and I'm sure you will all love it. In less than two weeks, november 24th, I'll be blowing out the candles again. :-)
Back to this recipe, my dad brought me a lot of pumpkins and butternut squash the other day and obviously the first idea that popped into my mind was "let's make something sweet with them". I could have made a big batch of comforting pumpkin soup but: 1, it's still quite warm here and 2, dessert is always my first choice. Even though autumn started long ago I still haven't shared any pumpkin-related recipe this season so here we go!
This healthier version of the classic crème brûlée is so easy to make, you'll just need to bake the pumpkin in advance and the rest of the process is super quick. I'd recommend though to let the mixture rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours so it thickens. I said it's a healthier version because all the ingredients are vegan: that means no eggs or heavy cream. The 'custard' is made with full fat coconut milk.
The recipe yields 4 big servings or 6 normal servings; I used the only ramekins I have (pssst Santa, I need some cute small ramekins, preferably pastel-colored porcelain ramekins) and they are quite big so, trust me, use the small ones because you'll have more than enough!
I hope you enjoy this spiced, maple sweetened and perfectly autumnal dessert; now I'm off to check the italian bread that is in the oven...the smell is simply divine.
Pumpkin Crème Brûlée
(4 or 6 servings, depending on the ramekins size)
300 g pumpkin purée (approximately 1 1/3 cups).
1 can full fat coconut milk.
1 vanilla pod.
1 1/2 teaspoons agar powder.
Scant 1/4 cup pure maple syrup.
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice.*
Pinch of salt.
Caster sugar for the topping.
*See 'how to make pumpkin pie spice' here (at the end of that recipe).
I made my own pumpkin purée instead of buying the one that comes canned because the brands I find here are not so natural and I got plenty of pumpkins and butternut squash from my dad.
Homemade pumpkin purée is so easy to make: preheat oven to 200º C (392 ºF), cut the pumpkin or butternut squash in medium chunks, scrape out the seeds and the 'stringy' pulp from the center and bake on a lined sheet until the flesh is tender, around 20 minutes. Remove the skins from the pumpkin pieces and mash with a fork until pureed.
Blend all the ingredients (minus the vanilla pod) in a food processor or blender until smooth.
Transfer this mixture to a medium saucepan, add in the vanilla pod and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the cream for 15 minutes approximately, stirring a few times to prevent a skin from forming. Remove the vanilla pod and pour the hot mixture into ramekins.
Let them cool at room temperature and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours to thicken.
Sprinkle around 1 1/2 tablespoons of caster sugar over each ramekin and spread it well to make sure it is completely covered. Use a blow torch to caramelize the sugar and be careful not to hold the flame for too long or you will burn the sugar too much. We want it to look caramel-brown and get a crispy consistence.