Before writing this post I almost stumbled into saying that some of our other pumpkin recipes were boring. But then after reading another’s brilliant post on a completely different non-food topic, I realized this wasn’t accurate. Skilled writers are more than a mere pleasure to read, they make you think. Their words stimulate the mind, help keep us from stumbling through life mindlessly reacting and reaching.
Roger Ebert recently wrote on his blog some thoughts on loneliness. He remarked how he has never felt particularly lonely. Beginning as a child then continuing throughout his growing and mature life, he would embrace time alone, even casting himself into “pleasurable exile.” This was something which I could deeply relate to.
Growing up on a cattle ranch, with only about 6 or 7 neighboring households in a 10 mile circle, being comfortable when alone gets hardwired into the soul. “Self-contained” as Mr. Ebert writes.
Being alone, even when surrounded by people, allows the pleasure of pondering, exploring, and observing much easier than when engaged in the interaction of society. This ingrained mindset of continually thinking and mentally exploring also combats another dreary psychological state, boredom. Neither Diane or I find ourselves getting bored. Our heads won’t let us.
A short while ago in a post we mentioned being bored with our ole stand-bys for butternut squash. In reflection, boredom wasn’t a fair way to describe it. The recipes mentioned, when perfectly made, still bring a soul warming delight and we relish in eating them, but our minds and palates are always seeking and observing life around us. To find an alternative way of preparing an ingredient is something which is brings a different pleasure, however that doesn’t result in taking away from the love of the “ole stand-by”.
If we are enjoying the satisfying pleasure and love of the familiar and traditional, which brings a joy deep into the soul the way very few things can, or whether we are enjoying something new, stimulating the senses to a heightened level as they become roused by the unfamiliar, either way we still enjoy the delectable consumption. The thrill in one doesn’t denigrate the satisfaction of the other.
With Thanksgiving in the eminent near future, such as this Thursday (crazy!) the menu planning is hitting the final stages and dessert is still to be determined. Normally I’ll make a white chocolate pumpkin cheesecake and it is really good. However our mischievously wandering minds have also been contemplating something new, a brown sugar pumpkin crème brûlée.
Decision, decisions. Shall we feast upon the comforting and deliciously familiar or shall we change things up a bit and offer a dessert different from anything we’ve had in the past?
This pumpkin crème brûlée recipe is really good… Especially when using our home roasted pumpkin puree and freshly grated Vietnamese cinnamon. Although the pumpkin cheesecake gets the same treatment plus fresh ginger in the graham cracker crust. Damn, the decision in getting even harder.
The pumpkin crème brûlée is easier and quick to make. Hmmm. Either way dessert will not be a bore!
oh yum, all gone!
Yield: eight 5" crème brûlées
Total Time: 1 hour
This is almost like a pumpkin pie without the crust. But with a crusty caramelized sugar top. It is also a great option if you have gluten-free people to consider, a topic which obviously has come to the forefront of allergy concerns. For us the decision to make it is just pure tastiness. There are several options for the caramelized top: an oven-dried brown sugar, superfine sugar, raw sugar, and regular sugar. Each have their merit. The brown sugar has a great flavor, but can burn a little too easily and doesn't develop a thin-ice like structure (some may like it's texture better if regular crème brûlée toppings are too firm for them.) Super fine is fantastic for a super thin-ice crust. It's great to have on hand for cocktails too!
More Creme Brulee Recipes: