Pumpkin Chai Pots de Creme with Pumpkin Seed Brittle

pumpkinpotsdecremeAdapted from Sunset Magazine

For the pots de creme:
1 cup heavy whipping
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
6 large egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup chai tea concentrate
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For pumpkin seed brittle:
1/3 granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup pepitas (hulled, roasted pumpkin seeds)

In a 3-quart pan over medium heat, stir heavy whipping cream, whole milk and light brown sugar until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat.

In a bowl, whisk egg yolks until they are light yellow.  Add granulated sugar and whisk until blended.

SLOWLY, whisk a fourth of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture.  If you add too much you will have scrambled eggs.  Then slowly whisk in remaining cream mixture along with pumpkin puree, chai tea concentrate, orange zest and vanilla extract.

Divide mixture among six ramekins (3/4 cup).  Set in a 12 x 16-inch roasting pan at least 2-inches deep.  Set pan in oven and pour in boiling water to halfway up sides of ramekins.  Bake at 325 degrees until custards hardly jiggle when gently shaken, 45-50 minutes.  Lift the ramekins out of the water and let cool on racks for 30 minutes, then chill until really cold, 4-6 hour.  Cover after cold.

While waiting to chill, make the pumpkin seed brittle.

In a heavy 6-8-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, stir granulated sugar and water until sugar is dissolved, 1-2 minutes.  Cook without stirring, shaking pan often, until mixture is a deep amber color, 5 to 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in pepitas.  Pour onto a decent sized piece of buttered parchment or foil and spread as thin as you can.  You will have to work fast.

Let cool until hard, about 10 minutes.  Cut or break brittle into shards to use as garnish.  Store airtight, if not using at once.


-Recipe courtesy of Cathy Pollak