Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
For the dough: 2. In a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment, add the dry ingredients and mix for 5 seconds to blend.
3. Add the butter and vanilla and mix until the butter is about the size of peas.
4. Add the cold water and blend until the dough just comes together.
Form the dough into a roughly shaped ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.5.
Remove pie dough from the refrigerator.
With the plastic wrap still on, pound with rolling pin a few times to flatten to 1 ½ inch .
6. Remove from the plastic wrap and roll out on a floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness.
7. Cut dough to the size of your brulee ramekins (I use 4" ceramic ramekins).
8. Butter each ramekin and place dough circle in the bottom.
9. Put the pie shell back into the freezer for 1 hour to firm again.
10. Fit a piece of aluminum foil to cover the inside of the shell completely.
11. Fill the shell up to the edges with pie weights or dried beans (about 2 pounds) and place it in the oven.
12. Bake for 10 minutes, remove the foil and pie weights and bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust is dried out and beginning to color.
For the filling: 1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer.
2. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined.
3. Add the sugar and salt and beat until combined.
Add the whole eggs, yolks, half-and-half and melted butter and beat until combined.
Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon and ginger, if using, and beat until incorporated.
4. Pour the filling over the warm prepared pie crust 1-inch thick (you can go deeper if you like and simply increase the baking time) and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the center is set.
5. Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature.
6. When cool, just before serving, make the brulee topping.
Sprinkle the sugar over the filling in each ramekin.
(Be sure to completely cover the filling with a thin layer of sugar)7. Using a mini-torch, torch the top until sugar is caramelized.
The ramekins can also be browned under a broiler.
If using a broiler, stick the ramekins inside a pan and under the broiler until light brown.
8. Serve immediately.