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Pumpkin Crème Brulee
By Melissa's Corporate Chefs

1 Vanilla Beans split lengthwise
16 ounces Heavy Cream
1/2 teaspoon Meyer Lemons zest
1/2 cup Butternut Squash pulp or Pumpkin purée
1 pinch Salt
2 pinches Nutmeg
1 pinch Cloves ground
1 pinch Ground Ginger
4 Egg Yolks
1/4 cup Granulated Sugar (for top of custard)

To puree squash or fresh pumpkin, set oven to 400F. Carefully cut squash into quarters and remove seeds. Lightly oil cut surface and place cut side down onto baking sheet. Bake until fork tender, about 30-45 minutes depending on size. Scoop out and puree in blender until smooth. Cool well before adding to recipe.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Split Vanilla Bean down the center and scrape out seeds. Combine cream, vanilla bean seeds and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Do not allow to boil. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove mixture from heat, add lemon zest, butternut squash pulp, spices and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, place the egg yolks and sugar. Whisk by hand until just combined, then slowly pour in the warm cream mixture and mix thoroughly.

Place 4 ramekins in a large baking dish. Move dish close to oven or place on baking rack. Fill pan with boiling water, so water is about 2/3 up the side of the ramekins.. Fill ramekins with egg mixture and bake for about 45 minutes to an hour or until eggs have almost set and a cold knife inserted into the center of the custard comes out clean. Do not over bake as custard will be tough.

Remove crème brulee from water bath and allow to cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate 6 hours or overnight. Sprinkle sugar over top of each custard and place under broiler until sugar caramelizes (turns a light golden brown).