Pine Ridge's Butternut Squash & Candy Cap Mushroom Crème Brulee

Candy cap mushrooms are unique due to their sweet flavor. Like truffles, they are highly aromatic. With butternut squash, they lend a wonderful taste and aroma to Pine Ridge's crème brûlée.

Servings: 8

Cook Time: 2 1/2 hours, plus 4 hour chilling

Pair With: Pine Ridge Vineyards Fortis

Cuisine: Dessert

Source: Recipe from Pine Ridge Vineyards' winery chef, Janet Sheehan


1 medium butternut squash (2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 2-inch pieces
3 cups heavy cream
¼ ounce dried candy cap mushrooms
5 large egg yolks
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sugar


Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the butternut squash and ½ cup water in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil, Cook for 35 to 40 minutes, or until soft and tender. Place the squash in a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl or in the sink and let drain for 30 minutes to release excess moisture. Using a wooden spoon, press gently to extract all the liquid, discard the liquid.   Place the squash in the bowl of a food processor, purée until very smooth.  Measure out ¾ cups of purée using any remaining in another recipe. Set aside.

Lower the oven to 325°F.  Arrange eight 6-ounce ramekins or baking dishes in a large roasting pan, Bring a large pot of water to a simmer while you finish making the crème brulee custard.

Place the cream and candy cap mushrooms in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring just to a boil, then turn off the heat and let steep for 30 minutes, strain the cream through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing on the mushrooms to extract all of the infused cream.

Whisk together the egg yolks, 2/3 cup brown sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt in a large bowl. Reheat the cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk the hot cream into the egg mixture. Whisk in the butternut squash purée. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium-size bowl.

Divide the mixture among the eight ramekins. Pour enough simmering water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until just set. The very centers may still appear to be slightly jiggly. Remove the Crème brûlées from the water bath and place the ramekins on wire racks to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

To finish: Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly over the tops of crème brulee. Brown the tops using a blowtorch or by placing the ramekins under the broiler until the sugar is melted and bubbling. 

Recipe Courtesy Of

Pine Ridge Vineyards

Today, the esteemed winery is a showcase for exquisite Cabernet Sauvignon with nearly 200 acres planted in 12 prime vineyard sites: four in the Stags Leap District; two in Rutherford; three in Carneros; one in Howell Mountain; and one in Oakville.