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Bittersweet Bistro

Rio Del Mar, California

Specialty Recipe

Pumpkin Creme Brulee

Chef Thomas Vinolus

2-1/4 cups whipping cream
2-1/4 cups milk
1/2 each vanilla bean, split and scraped
One 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced thin
One 6-inch piece of cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
2 large eggs
9 large yolks
1-1/2 cups sugar (plus more for caramelizing the top)
1 pound (approximately 2 cups) of pumpkin puree, freshly baked or canned (if fresh pumpkin is used, needs to be peeled and seeded)
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate shavings

In heavy bottom sauce pot bring cream, milk, cinnamon, vanilla bean and ginger to a boil. Let steep for 20 minutes. In a bowl, whip eggs, yolks, sugar and pumpkin until incorporated well. Bring cream mixture back to a boil. While whipping egg mixture, slowly add the hot cream mixture.

Ladle into 6-ounce ovenproof containers and bake at 325 degrees in lower third of oven in water bath. Check in 20 minutes! Bake until custard firms up, but doesn't souffle. Cool and refrigerate. When ready to serve, evenly sprinkle with chocolate shaving and serve immediately.

Makes: Eight 6-ounce portions.

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