Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pumpkin Creme Brulee

I love this one--baked in my Grandma's old mini cast iron pan!
Recently I had the pleasure of working with artist and photographer, Jon Martin to do some food styling and start a visual portfolio of my work, while he perfected his already superb food photography skills.  We had a great day of working through a few seasonal recipes and capturing the colors, textures, and essence of the season.  Our day of work and exploration of our recipes' visual interest resulted in some truly gorgeous photos and a branching out of my career in food.

Whisking the cream, egg yolks, and pumpkin. I love this one!

My first headshot since my acting days!
A montage of the brie and roasted fig salad we also worked with that day!
We plan on collaborating again soon and continuing our visual culinary journey.  If you know of anyone in need of a food stylist and photographer, you know where to find them!

This recipe for Pumpkin Creme Brulee I chose for it's deep color, simplicity of preparation and visually exciting torch usage! It was so rich and delicious, too!  This would be great for Halloween weekend, an uncommon Thanksgiving dessert, or just a good autumnal treat!  For lunch the day of the shoot, we ate the salads and creme brulee!  Now that was a rewarding day of work.

Pumpkin Crème Brulee with Crème Fraiche
This recipe requires 8- 1/2 cup ramequins and a butane kitchen torch (or a broiler can work, too).
composed and elegant

1 cup organic heavy cream
1 cup organic half and half
½ cup turbinado sugar
Pinch sea salt
7 egg yolks
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
Dash of nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups pureed pumpkin or other winter squash

3 Tablespoons sugar or Florida Crystals(natural sugar)
A few teaspoons crème fraiche

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Warm cream and half and half in a medium saucepan.  Whisk in turbinado sugar and add a pinch of sea salt. Warm over medium-low heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat and let cool a bit.

With an electric mixer, whisk egg yolks until they become a little frothy and are bright yellow.  Temper the eggs by pouring in just a bit of the cream mixture.  When blended, go ahead and add the rest in.  Blend for a minute.

Blend in spices, vanilla and pumpkin puree until ingredients are evenly distributed and smooth.

Set up ramequins in a deep rectangular baking/roasting dish.  Evenly distribute pumpkin mixture into the ramequins.  Carefully fill the pan with water (using a small pitcher or measuring cup is the best way) so water surrounds the ramequins and reaches about halfway up the sides. 

Bake for an hour, remove from heat, and let cool for twenty minutes.  Cover and chill each brulee.

Before serving, sprinkle a bit of sugar on each one and torch until sugar is browned and crusty.  If you don't have a kitchen torch, you can do a quick broil.  Preheat the broiler to high and position the rack to the highest position.


Dan said... photography. The 2nd best field of photography to be in.

Catherine Barker Hoffman said...

Haha! This is a family-friendly blog, Dan.

Deborah said...

Great stylin' lady! The pumpkin dessert looks so good. Can I borrow your blow torch?

Catherine Barker Hoffman said...

You can borrow my blow torch anytime, mama! It's definitely my current favorite kitchen toy.

Jon Martin said...

Good stuff, look forward to working together again.