Pumpkin Creme Brulees 6.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Instant Pot Nov 13, 2018

Pureed pumpkin and warm spices add a festive note to this bistro classic. Traditionally, creme brulee is cooked in a bain-marie, made by filling a large roasting pan with boiling water, carefully setting the filled ramekins of custard within, and placing the whole setup in the oven. This can be messy as the hot liquid will threaten to slop from the pan every time you pull it from the oven.

Happily, the multicooker is an ideal bain-marie – hot and steamy, with an even temperature. All you need is a steaming rack and enough aluminum foil to tightly wrap your ramekins to protect the custard from condensation.

You'll need a 6-quart, or larger, multicooker/electric pressure cooker with a rack insert, and 4-ounce ramekins. The shape of the ramekins you use will affect the cooking time; small and deep custard cups (as shown in the accompanying photo) took an extra 4 or 5 minutes under pressure.

Make Ahead: The custards need to be refrigerated for at least 3 hours before serving. They can be cooked up to 3 days in advance, tightly wrapped and refrigerated; wait to sugar their tops and brulee until shortly before serving.

6 - 8

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6-8 servings

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 6 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus more for topping
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat, until very hot but not boiling. Remove from the heat.

Gently whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a mixing bowl; you do not want to create a very foamy surface. Slowly whisk the hot cream into the egg mixture; again trying not to create a lot of foam.

Divide the egg mixture among six 4-ounce oven-safe ramekins. Wrap each ramekin tightly with aluminum foil.

Place the steaming rack in the pressure cooker and add 1 cup water. Place three ramekins on the rack. Cook at high pressure for 6 minutes. Repeat with the remaining three ramekins. Alternatively, you can cook all six ramekins at the same time for 6 minutes, but they may cook unevenly.

Allow the pressure to release naturally. Remove the custards from the pressure cooker and unwrap each one. The custards will be mostly set but still jiggle slightly in the center when shaken. If they are still liquid in the center, return to them to the pot, cover and allow them to finish cooking in the residual heat for 10 minutes. The pumpkin will create a bottom layer; this is okay.

Set the ramekins on a wire cooling rack on the counter. Cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.

To serve, sprinkle the top of each custard with a thin, even layer of sugar, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon each. Use a kitchen torch to melt and caramelize the sugar until dark golden brown. (Alternatively, preheat the broiler, place the ramekins on a baking sheet, and broil 4 inches from the heat source until the sugar has melted and browned into a dark golden caramel shell.) Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from Ann Mah, author of "Instantly French! Classic Recipes for Your Electric Pressure Cooker" (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2018).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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