Maple Pumpkin Crème Brûlée

by Jenn on October 19, 2009

in Desserts,Gluten Free

To end our lovely anniversary dinner, I just had to make crème brûlée.  It is super easy, one of our favorite desserts, and seemed like a great ending to our wonderful evening.  I wasn’t terribly creative with this recipe, but not everything needs to be a large production.  Since dinner was clearly the time and attention-intensive part of our meal, I wanted something that I could make well ahead of time and not have to worry about until it was time to enjoy.  This was perfect for that.  I based my dessert around Emeril’s pumpkin crème brûlée recipe, with a few tweaks, but nothing really major.  The biggest difference is that I used maple syrup instead of brown sugar, and canned pumpkin puree so I didn’t have to strain it.  Also real vanilla bean adds a nice touch – if you can use it, it just works so much nicer than vanilla extract does.

The hardest part is not having a blow torch to effectively “brûler” the dessert.  Once they were baked and chilled, I coated them with sugar and put them under the broiler, but even turning them did not allow the sugar to caramelize evenly.  Maybe I will ask for a blow torch for Christmas, haha.


Maple Pumpkin Crème Brûlée

Adapted from Emeril Lagasse
Prep Time: 5 minutes to prep ingredients
Total Time: 3 hrs to bake and chill.


  • 8 egg yolks
  • 2 c.  heavy cream
  • 1/4 vanilla bean
  • 1/4 c. maple syrup
  • 1/4 c. sugar, plus 4 tbs.
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 c. pumpkin puree

1.  Preheat oven to 325F.  In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks until frothy – alternatively you can use a hand mixer for this, which goes a bit quicker.  Also, start a kettle of water heating up (you will need this for the pan later, but it won’t go into the actual recipe).
2. Add cream to a medium pan and scrape seeds from vanilla bean into the cream.  Stir in maple syrup and 1/4 c. sugar, and turn on heat to med-high.  Stir constantly until cream just starts to simmer, and remove from heat.
3. Slowly whisk some of the hot cream into the eggs, and then whisk the entire egg mixture into the rest of the cream.  This is so you don’t end up scrambling your eggs by shocking them with too much heat at once and you keep the consistency smooth.  No one wants scrambled egg brûlée!
4. Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the 4 tbs. sugar) and whisk until uniform.  Place ramekins into a large pan and pour mixture into your ramekins.  Emeril says this makes 8, but my ramekins were large enough that this recipe made just 4.  Fill pan half way with hot water. This will keep enough moisture inside the oven while you are baking them.
5. Bake until the custards set, for me this took the entire 55 min.  Once done, carefully take out of the oven (remember you pan is halfway full of very hot water!), and remove the ramekins.  Set them in the fridge for a good couple of hours to chill.
6. To brûler your custards, sprinkle sugar on the tops of the chilled custards and broil in the oven (or blow torch them).  Make sure you watch them very carefully so they don’t burn, and turn them often.  It only takes a minute or two to broil, and only a few seconds between “perfect” crème brûlée and “burnt mess” crème brûlée.
7. Chill some more.  I like to eat mine completely chilled throughout.  When ready to eat, garnish with fresh berries and enjoy!


{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren October 19, 2009 at 11:32 pm

Oh my. I need some of this. Now.


Jenn @ Pete Eatemall October 20, 2009 at 12:26 am

Sounds divine! Pumpkin and Creme Brulee! Must add to my wish list now! Thanks for sharing!


Sara @ OurBestBites October 20, 2009 at 12:41 am

Oh my- maple, pumpkin, AND creme brulee?? Three of my favorite things and I’ve never had them all together! Must try it. Thanks for a great post!


chriesi October 20, 2009 at 4:03 am

Oh that is fantastic!


Brent October 20, 2009 at 7:21 am

This recipe sounds amazing. I have never heard of a pumpkin creme brulee! I will certainly try this over the weekend. Thank you for sharing.

Also, I wanted to pass on a great source for vanilla products. Beanilla Trading Company ( has 8 different types of vanilla beans, as well as vanilla paste, sugar, salt, and extract. Their prices are very inexpensive (some of the vanilla beans are only $1.50 each!) but the quality is amazing. I just bought some Madagascar vanilla beans and they were so moist I could not hardly believe it.

Thanks again


Jennifer October 20, 2009 at 8:36 am

So glad you blogged about this – been waiting for this post. Looks beautiful and delicious!


ABowlOfMush October 20, 2009 at 8:39 am

Wow, this sounds fantastic!

I love maple and pumpkin together!


Sean October 20, 2009 at 7:09 pm

The post I was waiting for from the last! Maple syrup and pumpkin is a great pairing and I can see that this recipes makes for a really rich creme brulee.

Do ask for a brulee torch for Christmas! I don’t use it often but it’s always exciting to melt stuff down with a shooting flame. Good way to entertain too :)


Ariane October 21, 2009 at 11:07 am

I guess I know what dessert will be when Audra comes down for dinner this weekend! Awesome! I had a brule set on the registry that came in last week, so we get to do our on site. Love the photo.


Charli October 22, 2009 at 11:36 pm

That does sound like it would be an amazing end to the celebration feast!


Linda October 25, 2009 at 10:27 pm

I know I would just love this. I’ve never made creme brulee, but it’s a gluten free dessert I love getting when we eat out. This recipe sounds delicious with the maple syrup and pumpkin.


krystal October 27, 2009 at 3:39 pm

YUM, I’m totally making this one. I haven’t made creme brulee in awhile…and this is one I’ll be savoring very soon!


I November 9, 2009 at 5:13 pm

So we are a gluten-free household, I was thinking hum…I LOVE pumpkin pie, but hate the gluten free crusts, wonder if I can find a pumpkin creme brulee recipe…So THANKS and Thanks to the other poster with regard to…I have a hard time finding vanilla beans here and typically pay $12 for 2, I just ordered 5 for less than that (including shipping)–Thanks to EVERYONE!!!(I got my torch fairly reasonably priced at Sur La Table and we love it, it’s refillable too)


Kea November 20, 2009 at 6:30 pm

Has anyone actually used this recipe? Did you need to double it?


M July 16, 2011 at 11:37 am

Can anyone advise if I need to grease the ramekin dishes?


Jenn July 16, 2011 at 11:42 am

I don’t because I eat the crème brûlée directly from the ramekin. The only motivation to grease something is if the baked good is going to need to be removed from the dish afterwards. With crème brûlée it’s perfectly fine (in fact I don’t think I’ve seen it any other way) to eat out of the dish it was baked in.


Laurel October 8, 2012 at 5:44 pm

I made this recipe yesterday! Yummy! No need to grease the ramekins. Highly recommended!


Jenn October 8, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Oh wonderful! Glad you enjoyed it!


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