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Chef Zachary Pope of Blackwall Hitch Shares His Pumpkin Crème Brûlée Recipe

Jan 04, 2016 04:36PM ● By Cate Reynolds
By Rita Calvert

Pumpkin Crème Brûlée

Serves 12  

Chef Zachary Pope of Blackwall Hitch concocts a celebratory Crème Brûlée and shows us how to make that luscious crackly sugar topping. He advises,“When using a torch, make sure to guard your hands from the intense heat. I like the torch tops at Sur La Table” 


  • 1 quart heavy whipping cream
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 20 fresh egg yolks
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 14 ounces fresh pumpkin puree (very dry puree)
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin spice

Special Equipment
  • 12 each- 8 ounce or larger porcelain cups/brûlée ramekins
  • 1 small butane torch



In a heavy stock pot simmer the cream, pumpkin, pumpkin spice, milk, vanilla and 1 cup of sugar

Preheat oven at 325F.

Separate the eggs so that you have 20 yolks while your cream is coming up to temperature. In a large mixing bowl, mix the 1 cup of sugar with yolks and mix well with a fine wire whisk.

Temper the eggs by carefully pouring half of the hot cream mixture into the bowl and mix vigorously with a whisk as you combine the two.

Again, mixing vigorously, combine the bowl of egg and half the cream back into the pot with the rest of the cream. Continue to stir for 1 minute.

Using a ladle, carefully fill the ramekins with your custard mixture. Place in a large roasting pan with sides and create a water bath by pouring hot water half way up the outside of the crème brûlée dishes. Cook for 45 minutes or until your custards have set-up.

Lift each crème brûlée ramekin out of the water bath and refrigerate to chill thoroughly.

When they have completely cooled, you are ready to burn the tops. Gently sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar on top of the custard while in the dish. Then, ‘Brûlée’, or burn the sugar with your butane torch until all sugar on top is caramelized.

Allow the sugar to cool and then … Enjoy