My instant pot pumpkin creme brulee makes an easy, foolproof dessert for your fall gatherings with an irresistible burnt sugar top and rich, creamy custard.
For our fall gatherings, we usually have a few dessert staples--pumpkin Basque cheesecake, apple tart, pumpkin ruffled milk pie, and a surprise that we switch up every year. This year, we offered an instant pot pumpkin creme brulee that was an instant hit. When you’re busy cooking, it’s nice to have an option for a make ahead dessert like the cheesecake or creme brulee. Pumpkin and warming spices came together in this irresistible creme brulee with a shattering burnt sugar top and addicting creamy custard. It’s the perfect fall dessert that comes together with a handful of ingredients.
- Pumpkin: for the pumpkin filling, I used red kuri squash. You can get the recipe for how to make your own red kuri squash puree here. Kabocha is another great alternative. If you don’t have time to roast your own pumpkin, substitute with canned pumpkin.
- Spices: I love the combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Feel free to play with your own combination. Ginger, cardamom, or chai would work well in this pumpkin creme brulee.
Tips for Making Creme Brulee in IP
If you’re making creme brulee in the Instant Pot for the first time, reading through these tips will help you achieve the best tasting creme brulee.
- Cooking the pumpkin creme brulee on LOW pressure for 6 minutes results in the lightest, creamiest custard.
- Cook the creme brulee in batches for consistent result. I put in three ramekins at a time.
- Add in ½ cup of water in between batches because the Instant Pot needs water to generate the steam necessary to cook the custard.
- Cover the ramekins tightly with foil to prevent condensation from dripping on the custard.
- The center should be jiggly and and edges set. The custard will firm up considerably in the refrigerator. If it’s still liquid in the center, cook for an additional 2 minutes on low pressure.
- Let the pressure naturally release for 15 minutes before you release the rest of the pressure.
How Long to Let it Set
It’s important to refrigerate the instant pot pumpkin creme brulee for at least 4 hours for the texture to set properly.
How to Brulee the Top
When ready to serve, remove the pumpkin creme brulee from the fridge and get ready to make that caramel, crackly top. Sprinkle the entire surface with granulated sugar and use a propane torch to caramelize (or burnt) the sugar. My favorite torch is the Bernzomatic torch. If you don’t have a torch, you can use your oven on its broiler setting to get the layer of sugar melted and caramelized.
The pumpkin creme brulee can be made ahead 2 days in advance. They will keep covered for up to a week. Only brulee the top when ready to serve.
Instant Pot Pumpkin Creme Brulee
- 2 ¼ cups heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 cup red kuri squash puree (alternatively canned pumpkin)
- In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the heavy cream, vanilla, and crushed spices. Cook until the edges start to bubble. Remove from heat and let everything steep for 8 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until well combined.
- Temper the egg yolk mixture by pouring a small amount of the warmed cream mixture into the yolks and whisking to combine until done.
- Return the egg mixture to the saucepan. Whisk in red kuri squash puree.
- Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large liquid measuring cup with a pour spout. Discard the solids.
- Divide the custard evenly, about ½ cup) into six 6-oz ramekins. Release any air bubbles on the surface by gently tapping with a spoon. Cover each ramekin tightly with aluminum foil.
- Lock on the lid and make sure the pressure valve is set to seal. Use the manual function to set to cook for 6 minutes on LOW pressure.
- When the cook time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes. Manually release any remaining pressure and carefully remove the lid.
- Carefully transfer the ramekins from the Instant Pot to a wire rack to cool slightly, about 20 minutes.
- Add ½ cup of water in the Instant Pot before you cook the second batch.
- Place the remaining ramekins in the Instant Pot and repeat the steps above.
- Chill the ramekins uncovered in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
- When ready to serve, sprinkle ½ tablespoon of sugar evenly on top of each creme brulee. Using a kitchen torch, brulee the tops until the sugar begins to bubble and turn dark golden brown. Let the creme brulee sit for about 5 minutes before serving.