Want a fuss-free guide to making a complete and delicious Thanksgiving meal? Make a three-course feast with some help from the pros! We've compiled the best TODAY dishes, with unique recipes from Giada De Laurentiis, Tyler Florence, Mark Bittman, the Scottos and even Al Roker's mom:
Pumpkin Creme BruleeAlfred Portale
Makes 8 servings
While pumpkin pie deserves great respect as a Thanksgiving dessert, it’s fun to shake up tradition and impress your friends with this sophisticated variation. The burnt sugar top tastes especially delicious with the sweetly spiced pumpkin cream.
BRULÉE SUGAR: Combine the sugars, mixing well to integrate evenly. Spread on a baking sheet and dry in the oven for about 1 hour. Transfer to a blender and process to a fine powder. Set aside, covered, and store in a cool dry place at room temperature for up to a week.
CUSTARDS: Preheat the oven to 350F.
In a saucepan, combine the milk, cream, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg over medium heat until hot but not boiling. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Remove the cinnamon stick. Whisk in the egg yolks, mixing until smooth. Add the pumpkin purée, whisking until well blended. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.
Pour the custard into eight 4-ounce ramekins. Set the ramekins in a shallow roasting pan or baking pan and put in the oven. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the custards are set around the edges but still a little shaky in the center.
Carefully remove the pan from the oven. Remove ramekins from the water bath and let the custards cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Preheat the broiler, or better yet, use a small propane torch designed for kitchen use.
Remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle each custard with brulée sugar. Broil for 30 to 60 seconds, until the sugar caramelizes, or hold the torch over the sugar to caramelize it.
Variations: Acorn, butternut squash, and sweet potatoes make fine substitutes for the pumpkin purée.
9123839604912867760492light brown sugar1cup1 cup light brown sugargranulated sugar0.5cup1/2 cup granulated sugarmilk2cup2 cups milkheavy cream2cup2 cups heavy creamsugar10tablespoon10 tablespoons sugarcinnamon stick11 cinnamon stickallspice0.5teaspoon1/2 teaspoon allspiceground cloves0.25teaspoon1/4 teaspoon ground clovesfreshly grated nutmeg0.25teaspoon1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmegegg99 large egg yolksunseasoned canned pumpkin purée0.75cup3/4 cup unseasoned canned pumpkin purée
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