Chez Jude’s Pumpkin Creme Brulee

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

It’s not quite Squash-o-Rama on the Heavy Table, but we’ve already got you covered with recipes for Harvest Pumpkin Soup and Butternut Squash Bisque. And now, Chef Judi Barsness of Chez Jude Restaurant in Grand Marais has offered up her recipe for Pumpkin Creme Brulee, the classic custard dessert, with a seasonal slant. While we don’t advocate handing out ramekins of creme brulee to trick-or-treaters tomorrow night, this dish would be an elegant addition to the dessert table for your Halloween soiree or at Thanksgiving dinner. This dessert can be prepared a day or two ahead of time, and, in fact, needs to chill overnight in the fridge.

Pumpkin Creme Brulee
Serves 6 – 8

1 c roasted fresh pumpkin, pureed or canned pumpkin puree
2 c heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
¼ c plus 1 tbsp sugar, divided
10 large egg yolks, beaten
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp allspice
¼ tsp powdered ginger
Garnish: raw or turbinado sugar
Garnish: cinnamon spiced or maple-sweetened fresh whipped cream

Special equipment:
6 – 8 6 oz ramekins
Brulee torch


  1. Cut pumpkin in half; scrape out the insides. Lay pumpkin flesh-side down on a jelly roll pan. Fill jelly roll pan half way up with hot water.
  2. Roast pumpkin at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, or until soft. Let the pumpkin halves cool. Scoop out pumpkin, puree in food processor.
  3. Over medium heat, bring cream, vanilla bean, and half of the sugar to boil in a small saucepan.
  4. After the mixture has boiled, gently scrape out vanilla beans into mixture.
  5. Beat egg yolks. Combine remaining sugar with egg yolks in mixer.
  6. Add a third of hot cream to egg mixture, stirring constantly. Then, add egg mixture to remaining hot cream, stirring constantly. Stir in cinnamon, allspice, and powdered ginger.
  7. Fold in pumpkin puree.
  8. Fill 6 oz ramekins to within a half inch of the top.
  9. Bake at 325 degrees in a water bath using an oven-safe baking dish, until set.
  10. Cool for 30 minutes in water bath, then remove ramekins from water bath. Chill in the fridge overnight.
  11. Just prior to serving, sprinkle raw or turbinado sugar over top, then caramelize using brulee torch.
  12. To serve pot de crème style, top with cinnamon spiced or maple-sweetened fresh whipped cream.

Read the Heavy Table’s interview with Chez Jude’s Chef Judi Barsness.

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table


  1. Lori Writer

    That Halloween cat is Briscoe, who is an integral part of the Heavy Table team as he attends all staff meetings. Sometimes he sleeps through them, but we don’t mind because we need him to be well-rested for his occasional photo shoots.

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