Recipe: Pumpkin Creme Brûlée

I know, I know. It's after Thanksgiving and I'm fashionably late on the pumpkin dessert bandwagon. But let me tell you a little secret... You can serve pumpkin desserts after Thanksgiving. Actually, I encourage it.

And for me, creme brûlée is a all-time favorite dessert. So adding pumpkin and cinnamon was a no brainer. It's also extremely easy to make, you can make it ahead of time, and it impresses people. Go impress your friends and family. It will work, I promise. Thank me later.

Pumpkin Creme Brûlée 

Makes 6-8 small ramekins

  • 3 egg yolks

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 oz canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until combined. Add in pumpkin and spices, mixing until combined, then add in heavy cream and vanilla and again, whisk until combined. Transfer mixture into something with a spout, like a measuring cup.

Place ramekins in a baking dish with a lip so they aren't touching. Fill each ramekin with custard mixture about 3/4 ways full. Bake the creme brûlées in a water bath by filling the baking dish with water so that it comes halfway up the ramekins. Bake for 40-45 minutes, though time will depend on how large or small your ramekins are. The centers should be set, but it will still be jiggly. Allow to cool before covering and storing in the fridge.

When you are ready to serve them, top each custard with a thin layer of sugar and use a kitchen torch to brûlée the tops. You can also place them in the broiler for a few minutes, but be sure to keep an eye on them!

Because of the addition of the pumpkin, this custard isn't as light as some creme brûlées but it's still pretty freaking great. Just saying.


Recipe: Baked Pumpkin Donuts

It's Fall and I'm back wanting to bake everything with cinnamon, pumpkin, and apples. The temperatures have started to really cool off here, I figured out how to turn my heat on, and broke out the heated blankets and hot apple cider. And since donuts are always fabulous in my book, I figured I'd start my pumpkin-cinnamon-everything-baking obsession  with baked pumpkin donuts.

I wish every decision in life was as easy as deciding to make pumpkin donuts. 

Baked Pumpkin Donuts

Yields 12 donuts

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 stick butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a electric mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar for about 5 minutes. Mixture should be fluffy and light tan. Scrape down the bowl and add eggs one at a time. Mix in pumpkin puree. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Slowly add half the dry ingredients, then the milk, then the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix until only combined and don't over mix.

Spray donut pan with a light coating of nonstick spray. Using a spatula, spoon the mixture into a pastry bag with a large open tip (or a sandwich bag with a corner cut off into a 1/2 inch hole). Pipe into donut pan and tap the pan once lightly on the counter to get any air bubbles out. Bake donuts for 7-9 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on a cooling rack.

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Basic Vanilla Glaze

  • 2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the three ingredients until combined. Once the donuts are cooled, dip each donut into the glaze and let the extra drip off a bit. Place on a cooling rack with aluminum foil underneath. Depending on how much glaze you want, dip each donut 3-5 times in the glaze, letting them dry in between. Top with ground cinnamon and embrace the drips!

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For some reason, I'm very sloppy at dipping donuts into glaze. When I was done with these, I not only had glaze all over the counter, but also spots of glaze all over my shirt, pants, and some on my face (??) If you're not the neatest of bakers, like me, be advised this can get a little messy. And maybe grab an apron.

Pumpkin Pie Dip Recipe

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Let's talk about the easiest pumpkin crowd pleaser there is, pumpkin pie dip. I feel like this recipe has been around the block a few times, but then I take it to a party and people have never heard of it before. It's a super simple recipe that makes a pretty decent amount of fluffy dip and, though I wouldn't say it's healthy, using fat-free CoolWhip keeps the calories down.

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Pumpkin Pie Dip

  • 3oz softened cream cheese
  • 1/4c confectionary sugar
  • 3/4c canned pumpkin
  • 1 8oz container of fat-free CoolWhip (it doesn't taste any different, honestly!)
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2tsp ground clove

In a mixer, cream together cream cheese and sugar until combined. Add in spices and pumpkin and mix until just combined. Using a spatula, fold in entire container of CoolWhip.

Cover and let the flavors meld together in the fridge for an hour. Serve chilled with ginger snaps or graham crackers. This dip can easily be made the day before and hang out in the fridge until go time.

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This recipe can be found all over the place, but this is my adaptation to it. I tend to like a spicier, more-pumpkin flavor so this recipe reflects that. Adjust spices to your particular liking, but keep in mind that the flavors really do come together in that hour in the fridge.

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Enjoy this dip with friends, but save a little for yourself to sneak as dessert.

Glitter Pumpkin DIY

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If you've been on my blog before, you know that I love a simple DIY and these glitter-painted pumpkins are just that. These probably don't even warrant a tutorial, but they are a great way to spice up your growing pumpkin collection (you don't have a growing pumpkin collection? That's just me? Bummer...) or use for a table or mantle centerpiece. Here's what you'll need...

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Pumpkins, Glitter Paint, and a Paint brush. See told you this was simple.

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Use the paint brush to paint a thin coat of glitter paint over half of your pumpkin. Sit the pumpkin on the non-painted side and lean it on its steam until dry. You'll need 3-4 coats of paint, depending on how much bling you want your pumpkin to have.

Once you've let your last coat fully dry, repeat the painting with the other side of the pumpkin to get full glitter coverage. Let dry and that's it. Bam, glitter pumpkin.

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As I said, I currently have a collection of pumpkins on our bookcase because I love all the different size, shapes, and colors that you can get pumpkins and gords in. Each year, I tend to buy a bunch of different ones to group places around our apartment and these gold glitter ones are perfect to mix and match with. 

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Painting pumpkins might be an addiction that I just uncanned...I'm thinking chalkboard paint next. (!!!!!)

Recipe Card: Creamy Pumpkin Pie

As I said in my recent apple cranberry pie post, pumpkin pie is my ultimate favorite. Always has been and probably always will. This recipe has always been a hit for me, and though it still has that standard pumpkin pie taste, it offers something a little bit different.

Recently, Emma from ABM posted this same recipe from Paula Deen, but with a different twist. Love her ideas too!

Creamy Pumpkin Pie

Yields 1 deep pie, or 1 pie and 2 mini pies

1 refrigerated pie crust

1 8oz package of cream cheese

2c canned pumpkin 

1/2c sugar

1/2c brown sugar

1/4tsp salt

1 egg, plus 2 egg yolks

1c melted butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1tsp cinnamon

1/2tsp pumpkin pie seasoning

 
1. Fit pie crust to pie dish and fold and crimp the edges. Even though I've done this a bunch, I always have to refer to a YouTube video. I can never remember year to year. Place in freezer for 30 mins to firm up.

2. Cover with aluminum foil and pie weights (I may have used coins, since I didn't have pie weights or dried beans, worked just great.) Bake for 10 mins, remove foil and bake another 10 mins.

3. In a large mixing bowl, whip cream cheese until fluffy. Add pumpkin, combine. Add sugars and salt, combine. Add eggs, half and half, and melted butter, combine. Lastly, add vanilla and spices, combine.

4. Pour filling into crust and bake for 50 mins, or until center is set. Cool to room temperature. Eat.

5. If you have extra filling and mini casserole dishes like I did, place a little crust in the bottem, prebake and fill with pumpkin pie filling. Slightly different consistency, but equally as delicious.

This was my contribution to our Thanksgiving dinner. Topped with some homemade whipped cream, it was rather fantastic.

(Please ignore that gash in my pie, messed it up coming out of the oven...)

Cheers! :)