November 16, 2011

Pumpkin Brûlée: My Best Thanksgiving Dessert

Pumpkin Brûlée: My Best Thanksgiving Dessert
A guest post by Kate Daneluk of Making Music Praying Twice

We’ve moved five times in our 13 years of marriage, and through all this time, we had one house big enough to host Thanksgiving. So, we did. That year, I went crazy, cooked for days, and had a ball. As usual, my focus was entirely on fresh, from-scratch food, with the exception of the deep-fried turkey which has been Grandpa’s contribution for years. So when my mother came and pointed out that the tables should be set, I relied on her natural skill in this area to compensate for my cluelessness. I’m not the Sandra Lee hostess type, I’m just a foodie.

I was up at 5 to start the two doughs for the fresh dinner rolls. The homemade secret gravy that you can make without an actual bird was done, as were two different homemade cranberry sauces and the homemade cream of mushroom base for the green beans. But the list for the day remained: potatoes needed peeling, Irish herb stuffing, Southern sausage cornbread dressing, peeling and creaming fresh cippolini onions, etc, etc. I did have the foresight to put Dad in charge of the beverages.

The dinner went over beautifully, all served buffet style and on my festive blue Polish ware. Thanks to Grandma everyone had silverware and a napkin! It may be embarrassing to admit, but this was one of the proudest days of my life. Finally, it was time for dessert. There was a lovely apple pie brought by a guest with fresh whipped cream. I pulled the pumpkin brulee from the fridge and got the torch going. Now, I am not the best cook in the world, but Jacques Pepin is one of them and it was his visit to the Martha Stewart Show that introduced me to this dish. I must say, this dessert was HUGE. Both the foodies and those that wondered why my bread didn’t come out of a tube, were delighted. People talked about it for weeks.

However, I was lazy and assumed that the recipe would be forever on the internet. Now, the internet is filled with pumpkin brulee recipes, but none from the origin I recall. Dare I take a chance on Thanksgiving and try a new recipe? Is this something that could go wrong? I implore Catholic foodies everywhere, do you have this recipe?

The mother of four young children, Kate Daneluk is the co-developer and creative director of Making Music Praying Twice.  Kate provides engaging workshops on faith-inclusive early childhood music and movement for parents, homeschoolers, teachers, and schools.

***Image courtesy of llamatofu on***