Brûlée The Top Of Your Pumpkin Pie For A Sweet, Glossy Coating

A mini pies with bruleed sugar top
A mini pies with bruleed sugar top - Lianaruchka/Shutterstock

Pumpkin pie is a staple at most holiday tables around the United States. With a velvety, custardy filling and a deep, sweet taste, this dessert has every reason to be popular. After years of classic pumpkin pie, however, you may be wondering if there is a way to wow your guests with something a little more unique. There's no need to go seeking an entirely new recipe to do this, either. To reinvigorate your next pie, just give it a simple brûlée.

The term brûlée refers to the technique of burning sugar on top of a dish in order to create a thin, crunchy surface layer. You have probably heard of it from the well-known French custard dessert, créme brûlée. What you may not know, though, is that this technique can be applied to so many more things than just a simple custard — including your pumpkin pie. Adding this final touch to your pie will give it a luxurious appearance and an added textural element, and it will also enhance its sweet flavor by bringing out the caramel notes found in pumpkin.

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How To Brûlée Your Pumpkin Pie

Hand using a kitchen torch to brulee sugar on custard
Hand using a kitchen torch to brulee sugar on custard - Alta Oosthuizen/Shutterstock

Brûléeing may look intimidating, but it is far more achievable than you would think. To brûlée the top of your pumpkin pie, start by spreading a layer of sugar over the surface. You will want to use white sugar for brûléeing, since it has smaller crystals than other kinds of sugar and therefore will melt more easily and uniformly. It is tempting to want to only add a thin layer, but, for a properly crunchy coating, you should add more than you think is right — about 2 tablespoons.

Once the sugar is in place, there are two common methods for burning it. The first is using a kitchen torch, which is a handheld tool that produces a small flame at the end. You can use it to quickly apply heat directly to the sugar by passing the flame over sections of the pie. It may take some practice and time to get used to this approach, so if you aren't comfortable with it we recommend simply placing the pie under a broiler on high heat until all of the sugar has melted and turned lightly golden. Then, remove the pie and let it cool until the sugar surface is hard and glassy.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.