School is back in session, and fall is right around the corner! I’m working on a bunch of autumn-inspired cooking with tea recipes, and wanted to introduce you to my first one, Pumpkin Chai Pots de Crème.

Pots de Crème is similar to, but predates, Crème Brûlée and is far simpler to make, as there is no messing with propane torches to brown the top.

Bon appeTEA!

Pumpkin Chai Pots de Crème

1 cup whipping cream
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
6 large egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup canned, cooked pumpkin
1/3 cup Kama Chai Sutra (allow to cool a bit)
2 teaspoons grated Meyer lemon peelgetting pumped!
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping
1 cup chilled whipping cream
2 teaspoons sugar

Preheat oven to 325°. In a 2- to 3-quart pan over medium heat, stir cream, milk, and brown sugar until sugar is dissolved, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a bowl, whisk egg yolks until light yellow. Add granulated sugar and whisk until blended. Gradually whisk a fourth of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture. Then slowly whisk in remaining cream mixture and the pumpkin, tea, orange peel, and vanilla.

Divide mixture among ramekins (about 3/4 cup per person). Set in a 12- by 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 until custards barely jiggle when gently shaken, 45 to 50 minutes. Lift ramekins out of water and let cool on racks for 30 minutes, then chill until cold, at least 1 hour. Cover when cold.

Shortly before serving, beat whipping cream and sugar in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Place dollop of whipped cream atop each pot de Crème  and serve.