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Pumpkin Creme Brulee

I had a butternut pumpkin left from the last photo shoot and normally I would roast it in the oven and have it with a mixed leaf salad. This time however I thought I try something sweet and et voila, pumpkin creme brulee. Creme brulee is one of my favourite dessserts, it's easy to make and so delicious. It's the best hipgold you can get apart from brownies. Well, this pumpkin creme brulee is slightly more elaborated as you have to cook the pumpkin first but that doesn't take long. The good thing about this dessert is that you can do it in advance so that you have desserts sorted for next day's dinner, isn't that fantastic? My problem is, that knowing I have creme brulee in the fridge, I can't stop eating it, which means there will probably nothing be left for my family or guests :-(

My pumpkin creme brulee recipe:

Serves 4

300 ml cream
1/2 vanilla bean, split
3 egg yolks
80 g caster sugar
150 g pumpkin puree, (see note)
4 teaspoons sugar (brown or white), extra to caramelise

1. Preheat oven to 160 C  (320 F, Gas 2-3). Place four  1 cup (250 ml) capacity ovenproof dishes in a large roasting tin. Put cream in a medium saucepan. 
2. Use a small knife to scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the cream. Add the vanilla bean to the cream mixture.  Place cream over medium heat and bring to a simmer (don’t boil). Remove and discard vanilla pod. Whisk egg yolks, sugar and pumpkin puree together in a medium bowl until well combined. Gradually whisk the cream into the egg mixture until well combined. Pour evenly among prepared dishes. 
3. Pour enough boiling water into the roasting tin until it comes halfway up the side of the dishes. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until just set. 
4. Remove from oven, take dishes out of water bath and cool for 30 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days to chill.
5. Preheat a grill to high. Sprinkle the crème brulees evenly with sugar. Cook under the grill for 1-2 minutes or until sugar bubbles and caramelises. Or, use a blowtorch to caramelise the sugar.

Note: For the pumpkin puree you need to simmer the pumpkin until very soft and then puree it with a blender or mixer until smooth. I had 700 g of pumpkin flesh and simmered it in 200 ml milk, covered, for 10 minutes, and then for 5 minutes to let the milk evaporate. Don't boil or the milk might curdle. You'll have obviously quite a bit of pumpkin puree left which you can use for dinner or lunch, or stir it through a quiche. Or, if you know the exact netto amount let me know and I can include it in the recipe, thanks.

Hope you enjoy it.

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